Conoco CEO: No Mergers for Conoco in Next Couple of Years

ConocoPhillips (COP) will focus on organic growth, share buybacks and the continued provision of a high dividend for the foreseeable future, and doesn't plan sizeable mergers for at least the next couple of years, the company's chief executive said Wednesday.

"I don't see that the mergers and acquisition environment fits into our plans in 2008 and 2009," Chief Executive James Mulva told analysts on a conference call Wednesday.

ConocoPhillips doesn't have "glaring holes" in its portfolio, Mulva said, adding that the company doesn't see a lot of appealing acquisition targets that would be affordable.

ConocoPhillips has been one of the most aggressive deal-makers in the oil patch in recent years, engineering a number of corporate takeovers and striking a number of joint ventures. Mulva said Conoco continues to push ahead with its latest joint-venture, a collaborative effort with Qatar Petroleum to work together on international projects.

ConocoPhillips, the first oil major to report earnings this cycle, reported net income of $4.37 billion, or $2.71 a share, compared with $3.2 billion, or $1.91 a share, a year earlier. The mean per-share earnings estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial was $2.38.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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