Energy Profits -- Not As Great as You May Think

Although the price of oil has steadily increased over the past couple of years, believe it or not, energy companies' net income margins have been declining over the past 15 months.   A chart (available by clicking on this link) courtesy of JP Morgan, graphically depicts this fact.   Keep in mind the chart depicts results for all energy companies in the S&P Energy Sector, not just the large integrated oil companies.  However, with big oil, the story is the same: Chevron, one of the world's largest oil producers, had their Net Profit Margin (EBITDA) decline from 17.57% in fiscal year 2007 down to 14.84% in fiscal year 2008, a decline of 15.5%.   Although no one is crying for the energy companies, their profitability is not as great as it is portrayed in the media.