Energy Business

Exxon Reports Annual Profits Dive 58%, Slashes 2016 Capex by 25%

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) reported estimated fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results before markets opened Tuesday. For the quarter, the integrated oil and gas giant posted quarterly diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.67 on revenues of $59.81 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.32 on revenues of $87.28 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.63 on revenues of $51.36 billion.

For the full year, Exxon reported EPS of $3.85 and revenues of $268.88 billion, compared with EPS of $7.36 and revenues of $411.94 billion in 2014. Analysts had estimated EPS of $3.82 and revenues of $252.94 billion for 2015.

Profits in 2015 fell by about 50%, from $32.5 billion in 2014 to $16.2 billion. Oil equivalent production rose 3.2% year over year, with liquids up 11% and natural gas production down 5.7%.

For the fourth quarter, profits declined by 58%, from $6.6 billion in the year-ago quarter to $2.8 billion. In the upstream division, profits fell from $5.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $857 million. Lower realized prices for liquids and natural gas contributed $3.7 billion to the drop.

In the downstream division, profits totaled $1.4 billion, up by $854 million year over year. Stronger margins boosted earnings by $1.4 billion. Refined product sales totaled 5.7 million barrels a day, down by 166000 barrels a day year over year.

Liquids production in the quarter increased by 299,000 barrels a day to 2.33 million. Natural gas production slipped by 631 million cubic feet per day year-over-year to 10.6 billion. U.S. upstream operations posted a loss of $538 million, down by $2 billion.

Full-year capital and exploration spending in the quarter totaled $31.1 billion, down 19% compared with 2014. Exxon said it anticipates further reductions in 2016, with capital and exploration expenditures of $23.2 billion, a decrease of 25% from 2015.

For the year, Exxon repurchased 48 million shares of common stock at a gross cost of $4 billion. Adding dividend payments, the company distributed $15.1 billion to shareholders in 2015.

Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s chairman and CEO, said:

While our financial results reflect the challenging environment, we remain focused on the business fundamentals, including project execution and effective cost management. The scale and diversity of our cash flows, along with our financial strength, provide us with the confidence to invest through the cycle to create long-term shareholder value.

The company did not provide guidance in its press release, but analysts are expecting first-quarter EPS of $0.48 on revenues of $45.59 billion, compared with $1.17 EPS and revenues of $67.62 billion in the first quarter of 2015. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $2.75 on $208 billion in revenues.

Exxon’s shares traded down about 1.7% in Tuesday’s premarket, at $75.00 in a 52-week range of $66.55 to $93.45. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $80.90 before the earnings report.

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