ConocoPhillips’s operating cash flow
For 4Q17, ConocoPhillips (COP) reported operating cash flow of ~$2.5 billion, which is ~19% higher than Wall Street analysts’ expectation of ~$2.1 billion. On a year-over-year basis, its 4Q17 operating cash flow was ~74% higher than ~$1.4 billion in 4Q16. On a sequential basis, its 4Q17 operating cash flow was ~134% higher than ~$1.1 billion in 3Q17.
COP’s free cash flow in 4Q17
In 4Q17, ConocoPhillips’s capex (capital expenditure) was ~$1.5 billion. That means its free cash flow was positive at ~$964 million, or ~$0.30 per share. COP’s peer Murphy Oil (MUR) reported ~$7 million in free cash flow in 4Q17.
For 2017, COP’s operating cash flow was ~$7.1 billion, which was ~61% higher than ~$4.4 billion in 2016. The steep increase in its 2017 operating cash flow can be attributed to higher crude oil (USO) prices in 2017. COP reported a higher crude oil (USO) realized price of $51.96 per barrel in 2017 compared to $40.86 per barrel in 2016.