French energy company Total S.A (NYSE: TOT – $62.50) reported second quarter adjusted earnings of $1.31 per share, up from $0.97 per share in the prior year period which came in two cents lower than the consensus of analysts. Sales for the quarter were $52.54 billion, up from $39.92 billion reported for the same period last year. In the release, the company said that world-wide inventory reductions and geopolitical tensions, Brent crude continued to trade at around $70 per barrel at the start of the third period, despite the announced increase in production by OPEC. All the company’s business segments did well, especially the Exploration and Production and Gas and Renewable Power businesses, and less so in Refining and Chemicals and Marketing. Net cash flow climbed to $3.886 billion in the second quarter compared to $1.489 billion in the second quarter 2017, thanks mainly to a 20% increase in operating cash flow before working capital changes.
Total said it will continue to buy back additional shares for an amount of up to $5 billion over the period 2018-20. The shares remain a well-suited candidate for those willing to venture in the volatile energy markets and take advantage of the company’s above-average $2.96 dividend yielding 4.7%.