Higher Oil Prices Not Enough to Boost Exxon Mobil Earnings

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Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) reported estimated second-quarter 2017 results before markets opened Friday. The integrated oil and gas giant posted quarterly diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.78 on revenues of $62.88 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.41 on revenues of $57.69 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.84 on revenues of $61.92 billion.

Second-quarter profits nearly doubled, from $1.7 billion in the year-ago quarter to $3.35 billion. But in the U.S. upstream division the company posted a net loss of $183 million, well below a net loss of $514 million in the year-ago quarter.

Even though profits nearly doubled year over year and the company beat revenue estimates, the missed profit goal will weigh on Exxon’s share price Friday.

Worldwide upstream earnings totaled $1.2 billion, compared with $310 million in the second quarter of 2016. Higher commodity prices contributed the entire $890 million improvement, while lower liquids volume and mix lowered earnings by $260 million and other items totaled an equal amount to lifting earnings.

Liquids volume fell 1% to 2.3 million barrels a day, and natural gas volumes rose by 158 million cubic feet per day to 9.9 billion cubic feet.

In the downstream division, earnings rose to $1.4 billion, up by $560 million year over year. Higher margins increased earnings by $220 million, while favorable volume and mix effects increased earnings by $90 million. All other items increased earnings by $250 million, including asset management gains, favorable foreign exchange impacts and lower turnaround expenses. Petroleum product sales of 5.6 million barrels per day were 58,000 barrels per day higher than last year’s second quarter.

Oil-equivalent production in the second quarter decreased by 1% to 3.92 million barrels a day. U.S. production rose by 25,000 barrels a day to 520,000. U.S. natural gas production decreased by 14 million cubic feet per day year-over-year to 3.08 billion cubic feet. Worldwide natural gas production rose by 158 million cubic feet per day to 9.92 billion.

Capital spending totaled $3.93 billion in the second quarter, compared with $5.16 billion in the second quarter of last year. U.S. upstream spending was cut by about 17%, from $914 million to $756 million.

CEO and Chairman Darren Woods said:

These solid results across our businesses were driven by higher commodity prices and a continued focus on operations and business fundamentals. Our job is to grow long-term value by investing in our integrated portfolio of opportunities that succeed regardless of market conditions.

The company did not provide guidance in its press release, but analysts are expecting third-quarter EPS of $0.83 on revenues of $63.87 billion, compared with EPS of $0.63 and revenues of $58.68 billion in the third quarter of 2016. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $3.51 on revenues of $266.81 billion.

Exxon’s shares traded down about 1.8% in just after Friday’s opening bell, at $79.40 in a 52-week range of $79.26 to $93.22. Analysts had a 12-month price target of $83.03 before this morning’s report.