Refining Leads Exxon Mobil Results

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Oil and gas supermajor Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before markets opened this morning.

For the quarter, Exxon posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.20 on revenues of $115.17 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.97 on revenues of $121.61 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $2.00 and $115.22 billion in revenues.

For the full year, the company posted EPS of $9.70 on revenues of $482.3 billion, compared with EPS of $8.42 on revenues of $486.43 billion in 2011. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $7.91 on revenues of $459.12 billion.

Production of both oil and natural gas was lower, both for the quarter and for the year. Upstream earnings rose in the United States during the quarter, but fell for the year. Outside the U.S., production fell both quarterly and annually.

What was higher were refining earnings. U.S. downstream earnings rose from $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $697 million in the 2012 fourth quarter. For the year, U.S. refining earnings rose from $2.27 billion to $3.58 billion. The growth was even better outside the United States.

The earnings announcement did not include guidance, but the consensus estimate for the first quarter calls for EPS of $1.99 on revenues of $114.94 billion. For the full year, EPS and revenues are estimated at $7.94 and $433.42 billion, respectively.

Exxon’s shares are up 0.6% in premarket trading, at $90.55 in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $94.00 before today’s report.

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