ConocoPhillips posts big loss, slashes dividend

Oil Barrels

ConocoPhillips on Thursday reported a much bigger quarterly loss, hurt by impairment charges, and slashed its dividend as the relentless fall in crude oil prices takes a toll on the largest U.S. independent oil and gas company.

The company said it would cut its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share, from 74 cents per share.

It also lowered its 2016 capital expenditure target to $6.4 billion from $7.7 billion.

The company's net loss widened to $3.5 billion, or $2.78 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec.31, from $39 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. It posted an adjusted loss of 90 cents a share.

Analysts had expected the company to report an adjusted loss of 65 cents a share on $9.057 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Its shares moved lower in premarket trading immediately following the announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)

Competitors like Exxon Mobil , Chevron and BP have already reported quarterly carnage as oil prices struggle to lift away from historic lows near $30 a barrel.

In December, ConocoPhillips released an 2016 operating plan that slashed spending forecasts, with a 55 percent reduction in capital expenditures compared to 2014. That's after it announced a 10 percent reduction in its workforce in September.

Shares of ConocoPhillips are down nearly 45 percent over the past year.

Read More For earnings releases, timing is everything

Reuters contributed to this report.

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