Exxon’s profit falls but output still increasing

City A.M. Reporter
EXXON Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, reported higher-than-expected quarterly results yesterday as output rose for the first time in more than two years, but refining weakness hurt earnings.

Exxon and other large oil companies struggling to boost production in recent years have spent heavily on new projects. In the first nine months of this year, Exxon alone spent $33bn (£20.5bn).

Exxon last reported a quarterly gain in production in the second quarter of 2011.

Third-quarter oil and natural gas output rose 1.5 per cent from a year earlier to 4m barrels of oil equivalent per day, helped by the start-up of new projects, the Texas company said.

Profit in the third quarter was $7.87bn, or $1.79 per share, compared with $9.57bn, or $2.09 per share, a year earlier.

“Weaker margins, mainly in refining, decreased earnings by $2.4bn,” Exxon said in a statement.

Analysts on average had expected $1.77 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company’s shares rose one per cent New York Stock Exchange trading yesterday.