Net income fell to $2.57 billion, or $1.37 per share, in the January-to-March quarter, from $4.51 billion, or $2.36 per share, a year earlier, the San Ramon, California-based company said in a statement today.
However, the result was much better than analysts' expectations of $0.79 per share, according to Capital IQ.
Shares skidded 1.8 percent to $109.08 at 10:30 a.m. in New York, extending losses over the past year to 12.5 percent.
Profit from Chevron’s oil refineries doubled during the quarter to $1.42 billion as the crude-market rout cheapened the feedstock used to manufacture gasoline and diesel. But the $1.56 billion earned by Chevron’s oil- and gas-producing business was the worst performance since the second quarter of 2009.
Chevron posted a loss in its United States oil production division, a key indicator that the country is one of its highest cost areas.
The oil company posted revenue of $34.56 billion in the period.
Global oil-equivalent production in the quarter rose to 2.68 million barrels a day, up from 2.59 million barrels a year ago.
Chevron continued slashing costs during the first quarter, reducing operating expenses by 9 percent.
"We're taking a number of deliberate actions to lower our cost structure, and I expect these efforts to increasingly show through in our financial results as the year progresses," chief executive officer John Watson said in the statement.
Brent crude, the benchmark for most of the oil traded outside the U.S., averaged about $55 a barrel during the first quarter, down from more than $107 a year earlier.
The company has said it would trim spending and stop buying back its shares as the collapse in oil prices has wiped billions of dollars from its cash flow.