Occidental Petroleum (OXY 1.16%)
Q1 2022 Earnings Call
May 11, 2022, 1:00 p.m. ET
- Prepared Remarks
- Questions and Answers
- Call Participants
Good afternoon, and welcome to Occidental’s first quarter 2022 earnings conference call. [Operator instructions] Please note this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Jeff Alvarez, vice president of investor relations. Please go ahead.
Jeff Alvarez — Vice President of Investor Relations
Thank you, Drew. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for participating in Occidental’s first quarter 2022 conference call. On the call with us today are Vicki Hollub, president and chief executive officer; Rob Peterson, senior vice president and chief financial officer; and Richard Jackson, president of operations, U.S. onshore resources, and carbon management.
This afternoon, we will refer to slides available on the Investors section of our website. The presentation includes a cautionary statement on Slide 2 regarding forward-looking statements that will be made on the call this afternoon. I will now turn the call over to Vicki. Vicki, please go ahead.
Vicki Hollub — President and Chief Executive Officer
Thank you, Jeff, and good afternoon, everyone. We’re especially proud of our results this quarter as our strong operational and financial performance enabled us to generate our highest reported and adjusted earnings in over a decade, resulting in an annualized return on capital employed of 21% when calculated with adjusted earnings. We also reported a record level of free cash flow for the fifth consecutive quarter. The increase in free cash flow compared to last quarter was achieved as we began executing on our 2022 capital plan to support our cash flow longevity.
As we will detail in a few minutes, we made meaningful progress toward our near-term goal of retiring $5 billion of debt. We remain focused on reducing debt this year as we advance our shareholder return framework. We repaid over $3.6 billion of debt as a part of the near-term goals we announced last quarter to repay an additional $5 billion of principal and lower net debt to $20 billion. Once the $5 billion target has been achieved, we — our focus will expand to the $3 billion share repurchase program.
When this first phase of our shareholder return framework is complete, we will continue to focus on debt reduction until we have achieved the face value of our debt to the high teens. When we have line of sight on reaching this milestone, we will detail the next phase of our shareholder return framework. During our most recent earnings call, we spoke about the importance of lowering our interest expense to support a dividend that can sustainably grow throughout the cycle. Continuing to lower debt, combined with managing the number of shares outstanding, will enhance the sustainability of our dividend while positioning us to…