For the quarter, Exxon posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.12 on revenues of $108.81 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $2.00 on revenues of $124.05 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $2.05 and $119.83 billion in revenues.
Exxon’s real disaster in the quarter was the $16 billion year-over-year drop in revenues. And that was during a quarter in which gasoline prices rose to an average near $4 a gallon at one point. Lower demand going forward is will hammer Exxon and the other oil majors. And there is little evidence that any of these companies knows how to cope with that situation.
Exxon’s worldwide production of both oil and natural gas was lower for the quarter, although U.S. liquids production rose from 426,000 barrels a day to 435,000 barrels a day. Natural gas production in the United States fell by about 350 million cubic feet a day. Upstream profits were off by $765 million.
Unlike the fourth quarter of 2012, refining did not rescue Exxon’s revenues in the first quarter. Throughput was about 750,000 barrels a day below that in the first quarter of last year, and product sales were about 550,000 barrels a day lower. Downstream profits were $41 million below the same period a year ago, even though U.S. downstream earnings were up $436 million.
To get an idea of the impact of the downstream earnings, remember that fourth-quarter earnings in downstream alone totaled nearly $700 million compared with the meager $41 million this year.
Upstream earnings totaled $7.04 billion, down $765 million from the same period a year ago. Lower prices for crude, lower production and higher operating expenses were not offset by rising prices for natural gas.
The earnings announcement did not include guidance, but the consensus estimate for the second quarter calls for EPS of $1.95 on revenues of $116.62 billion. For the full year, EPS and revenues are estimated at $8.02 and $440.92 billion, respectively.
Exxon’s shares are down 0.5% in premarket trading at $88.95 in a 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $94.30 before today’s report.
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