(Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp.’s massive $75 billion buyback program may have been announced earlier this week as a “smokescreen” for disappointing quarterly results on Friday that tanked the share price, said veteran industry analyst Paul Sankey.

“I frankly think it was politically a mistake,” the founder of Sankey Research LLC said during a Bloomberg Television interview, adding that the buyback authorization didn’t change previous company guidance on the pace of annual repurchases.  

Sankey also expressed concern about a 3% decline in the company’s oil-equivalent production last year. “If you think about the present value of the stock and the sustainability of the stock, that becomes a concern,” he said. 

The reaction to the huge buyback program, which drew criticism from the White House, has been “a touch overblown,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth said during a call with analysts. 

“We just looked at something that would last over a number of years,” he said. “We weren’t trying to be splashy, we weren’t trying to create any reaction out there. We’re just trying to indicate the confidence we have in our cash generation.”



--With assistance from Kevin Crowley.

(Updates with CEO’s comments in final two paragraphs.)

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