News: Exxon Mobil's Q4 profit beats expectations

  1. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), the world’s biggest oil producer by market value,  reported a 21 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit that still handily topped expectations as low crude prices weighed on the results.

    Shares rose in premarket trading.

    Net income fell to $6.57 billion, or $1.56 per share, in the October-to-December quarter, from $8.35 billion, or $1.91 per share, a year earlier, the Irving, Texas-based company said in a statement today.

    Per-share earnings were 22 cents above the $1.34 average of 20 analysts’ estimates compiled by Capital IQ.

    Revenue slipped to $87.28 billion.

    Oil and natural gas production fell 3.8 percent.

    Shares gained 0.7 percent to $62.98 at 8:38 a.m. in New York. The stock had lost 22 percent over the past six months.

    Exxon follows Chevron (NYSE:CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and other oil titans in posting steep profit declines after a shale-driven supply glut hammered crude prices.

    Layoffs, drilling delays and more than $40 billion in spending cuts have already been announced as oil companies scramble to ensure they have enough cash on hand to continue shelling out dividends to investors.

    Earnings in Exxon’s exploration and production business dropped to $5.5 billion, hurt by lower production.

    Refining and marketing earnings declined to $497 million.

    Crude lost almost 60 percent of its value in seven months, an oil-market slump not seen since the worldwide financial crisis of 2008-2009. WTI for March delivery was trading at $50.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange today.

    “ExxonMobil’s results illustrate the value of our proven business model that integrates upstream, downstream, and chemical businesses,” Rex W. Tillerson, Exxon Mobil’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

    “Our balanced portfolio uniquely positions ExxonMobil to deliver superior results throughout the commodity price cycle.”


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