Exxon Mobil’s fourth-quarter earnings fall short of expectations


Exxon earned $5.69 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $6 billion in the same period as weakness in the company’s chemicals and downstream divisions, as well as consistently lower oil prices pressured profits.

The company’s quarter was boosted by one-time events, including a $3.7 billion gain from Exxon’s Norway divestment. Excluding these items, profit for the quarter missed analyst estimates by 2 cents per share.

Here’s how the energy giant’s results fared relative to Wall Street expectations:

  • Adjusted earnings: 41 cents per share vs. 43 cents per share expected by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $67.17 billion, versus $64.166 billion expected by Refinitiv
  • Upstream income: $2.19 billion vs. $2.44 billion expected by FactSet
  • Downstream income: $898 million vs. $457.2 million expected by FactSet
  • Chemicals income: $355 million loss vs. $174.6 million loss expected by FactSet

Oil-equivalent production was 4 million barrels per day, which was in-line with the same quarter a year earlier. Production in the oil-rich Permian spiked 54% year-over-year, and during the fourth quarter production began in the company’s offshore Guyana operations. The company said that capital and exploration expenditures grew 8% year-over-year to $8.46 billion.

The stock shed 4.13% during Friday’s trading session after the company said that its downstream operations margins were “significantly lower” than in the prior quarter, while margins in the chemicals business “weakened further during the quarter from already depressed levels.”

The company completed the sale of its upstream assets in Norway, which added $3.7 billion to earnings, and is part of the company’s plan to divest around $15 billion worth of non-strategic assets by 2021.

“Our operations performed well, while short-term supply length in the downstream and chemicals businesses impacted margins and financial results,” Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer, said. “Growth in demand for the products that underpin our businesses remains strong. We remain focused on improving our base businesses, driving efficiencies, and optimizing the value of our investment portfolio.”

Last quarter the company reported earnings of 75 cents per share on revenue of $65.05 billion, and in the same quarter a year earlier the company reported earnings per share of $1.41 and revenue of $71.90 billion.

On Thursday shares of Exxon sank to their lowest level since Oct. 2010 as declining oil prices have continued to hit the company’s operations.

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