Friday, May 2, 2008

Thoughts about Oil Company Profits

The five largest Oil companies showed an increase in profits from the 1st quarter last year. Chevron, Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC earned $36.9 billion in the first quarter. This represents a 25% increase in profits from last year. The figure $36.9 BILLION sounds like a lot of money. It is! And it represents a profit margin of about 9%.

So does $410,000,000,000.00 ($410 BILLION), but that's what it takes in Gross Sales for the Big Oil Companies to show a profit of $36.9 BILLION. The Big Oil Companies are called Big Oil because, well because they ARE BIG.

But wait a minute. Let's put this into perspective. If the Oil Companies were not so big, would we be as outraged by the BILLIONS of Dollars of profit? I think not. For example if you or I owned a company which had gross sales of $100,000.00, the same profit margin would mean we would take home only $9,000.00. Nine Thousand dollars on sales of One Hundred Thousand Dollars.

That represents the same profit margin, but it doesn't bother us as much does it? Why? Because we have a somewhat different perspective, when the numbers are smaller. There is a saying which all of us should remember. Figures don't Lie, but Liers do figure.

The moral of this story is - don't just look at the bottom line. Dig a little deeper, And Don't let the Politicians who use emotion instead of logic to fix a problem. The fix is not to tax the Big Oil Companies more. The fix is to drill in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf of Mexico. The fix is to increase the capacity by expanding the oil refineries. The fix it to use Nuclear Power, Wind Power and Solar Power. The fix is to find a way to use something other than corn and other food crops for ethanol production.

No comments: