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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."

  • The company is grappling with how the pandemic has sapped demand for motor and jet fuels.
  • Losses from its refined products division weighed on the results as the company cited lower margins on sales and lower sales volumes.

What they're saying: "2020 was a year like no other," CEO Mike Wirth said in a statement.

  • But he touted the company's moves to address the crisis with steep capital spending reductions and lower operating costs.
  • "We were well positioned when the pandemic and economic crisis hit, and we exited the year with a strong balance sheet," Wirth said.

Yes, but: Chevron's stock ticked down over 2% in trading this morning. "The California oil titan lost a penny per share during the fourth quarter, compared with the Bloomberg Consensus for a 7-cent profit," Bloomberg notes.

What's next: A fuller picture of how the pandemic is still affecting Big Oil will emerge next week when ExxonMobil, Shell and BP report their Q4 results.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle sales far surpass pandemic expectations

Data: EIA; Note: 2020 figures are preliminary; Chart: Axios Visuals

New International Energy Agency preliminary data shows that worldwide sales grew by an estimated 40% last year, exceeding the agency's expectations.

Why it matters: The increase occurred despite a drop on overall global vehicle sales.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."