The good news is that higher oil prices can mask many mistakes. The bad news is that refining margins are just not what they were cut out to be. Downstream earnings were $425 million before items, while upstream earnings were over $8.8 billion before items. Oil equivalent production was down 9%. Total cash flow from operations and with asset sales combined was $17.6 billion with the operating cash flow portion at $10.7 billion.
Buybacks have continued at a feverish pace and the oil giant is targeting some $5 billion in buybacks of common stock in the first quarter.
Investors are not snapping up the news as a buy signal this morning. So far, shares of Exxon Mobil are down almost 1% at $84.70 and the 52-week range is $67.03 to $88.23.
JON C. OGG