Exxon Mobil Pours Money Into Capex, Refining Profits Sag

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Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) reported estimated second-quarter results before markets opened Friday morning. The integrated oil and gas giant posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.92 on revenues of $73.5 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.78 on revenues of $58.08 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.27 on $72.58 billion in revenues.

Net income in the quarter rose from $3.35 billion a year ago to $3.95 billion. Oil-equivalent production was down 6.9% year over year from 3.92 million barrels a day last year to 3.65 million barrels a day.

Worldwide upstream earnings totaled $3.04 billion, compared with $1.18 billion in the year-ago quarter. Higher prices increased earnings by $2.83 billion, while volumes and other items reduced earnings by $450 million.

In the downstream division, earnings fell to $724 million, down by $661 million year over year. Refining margins increased earnings by $260 million, while downtime and maintenance reduced earnings by $620 million. Foreign exchange effects cost the downstream division $240 million, and lower gains on divestments reduced earnings by $130 million. Petroleum product sales of 5.5 million barrels per day were 56,000 lower than last year’s first quarter.

Capital spending totaled $6.63 billion in the quarter, up 69% year over year, reflecting key investments in Brazil, the Permian Basin and Indonesia.

CEO and Chair Darren Woods said:

Key projects in Guyana, the U.S. Permian Basin, Brazil, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea are positioning us well to meet the objectives we outlined in our long-term earnings growth plans. The high quality of these resources, combined with our strengths in project execution and innovation, will generate strong value over time. Second quarter results were primarily impacted by significant scheduled maintenance undertaken to support operational integrity. In addition, while we were pleased with the return of full production following the PNG earthquake, extended recoveries from first quarter operational incidents in the Downstream were disappointing.

The company did not provide guidance in its press release, but analysts are expecting third-quarter EPS of $1.37 on revenues of $76.17 billion, compared with  $0.93 in EPS and revenues of $66.17 billion in the third quarter of 2017. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $5.02 on revenues of $307.32 billion.

Second-quarter results were a little disappointing, but not unexpected. The damage from the PNG earthquake was a major blow and took longer to repair than Exxon originally figured. Exxon’s shares traded down nearly 3% just after Friday’s opening bell, at $81.79 in a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30. Analysts had a 12-month price target of $89.50 before this morning’s report.