Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) on Nov. 2 reported a quarterly profit that topped analysts’ estimate on higher prices received for its oil and natural gas, but its production volumes fell on a year-over-year basis.
The company posted third-quarter net income of $6.24 billion, or $1.46 a share, compared with $3.97 billion, or 93 cents per share a year ago. Analysts had forecast a $1.23 a share profit, according to data from I/B/E/S on Refinitiv.
Its shares rose nearly 2% to $82.20 in pre-market trading. They are down 4.9% year-to-date on lower oil and gas production that, with the latest decline, has dropped in nine of the last 10 quarters.
Results benefited from a $360-million tax benefit that added about 7 cents a share to earnings, said Brian Youngberg, an equity analyst at Edward Jones.
“It’s a modestly positive report,” said Youngberg. “They had such a weak first half of the year; the bar was lower and they jumped over it.”
Oil production fell 3% to 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent and natural gas output dropped 4%, the company said.
Earnings from the company’s downstream unit, which refines crude oil into gasoline and other products, rose 72% to $1.64 billion, which CEO Darren Woods said benefited from better operations and growing supplies of discounted shale oil from West Texas and crude from Western Canada.
With crude up 44% in the third quarter over a year-earlier, Exxon Mobil and other oil companies are minting profits again. Royal Dutch Shell posted income of $5.6 billion on Nov. 1 and BP Plc reported profit of $3.8 billion in the period.
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