Exxon Mobil, The Great Earnings Bust (XOM)

Exxon LogoIf you think oil companies make too much money regardless of what the numbers are, you might consider looking at just how sensitive the companies are to the price of oil.  The 2009 vs. 2008 earnings and almost all figure look like night and day.  Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is out with $4.73 billion earnings for the quarter, which is a disappointment and is down about 68% from a year ago.  Gone are the $100 billion revenue days, but Big Oil reported its Q3 earnings of $0.98 EPS on $82.26 billion in revenues.  These figures are down from $2.85 EPS and $137.7 billion in revenues from a year ago.  Thomson Reuters had estimates pegged at $1.03 EPS and $79.29 billion in revenues.  The metrics get worse from there on most fronts.

The company’s capital spending was down 6.5% at $6.49 billion.  The company’s downstream loss was $203 million, down from a positive $978 million a year ago.  Upstream was positive at $709 million in the U.S. and $3.3 billion international upstream, but those compare to figure of $1.88 billion U.S. and $9.09 billion international a year ago.The company also noted that cash flow from operations was $8.8 billion, which is down from 14.4 billion a year ago.  All of this is also happening as output is higher at 3.69 million barrels per day vs. 3.59 million before.

The company plans to spend some $2 billion in share buybacks in Q4 to lower its outstanding shares, and that is after spending $4.2 billion to repurchase some 61 million shares in the Q3 period. Just yesterday came word that it was paying a $0.42 quarterly dividend for Q4, which is the same as the third quarter.

Shares are down 2.1% at $72.30 at 8:27 AM EST.  Its 52-week trading range is $56.51 to $83.64 and its $350+ billion market cap makes Big Oil our #1 by far by market cap in our “Real Time 500” list of stocks.