Friday 1 November 2019 3:59 pm

Exxon Mobil profits halve in the third quarter

Exxon Mobil saw its third quarter profit nearly half today as lower oil prices and weaker margins in refining and chemicals saw earnings drop to $3.17bn (£2.5bn).  

The oil giant’s three main businesses all  reported lower year-over-year profit as earnings fell 49 per cent from $6.24bn a year earlier.

Read more: Shell profits slide 15 per cent in third quarter

Shares fell to 75 cents per share, which still beat reduced expectations for earnings of 67 cents per share. 

Last month the company warned results would suffer as a result of lower oil prices, prompting analysts to reduce estimates from 86 cents per share.

“Maybe expectations were a little bit weak going in, but I think overall it is probably slightly negative relative to expectation,” said Anish Kapadia, director of energy at London-based Palissy Advisors.

The results mirrored the performances of fellow supermajors BP and Royal Dutch Shell, which both suffered a considerable decline in earnings over the same period.

Prices have fallen for oil and gas as US shale producers keep pumping more oil amid slowing global consumption growth.

Exxon Mobil has been investing in major projects to boost production at a time when investors have been pressing oil companies to cut spending and increase returns to shareholders. It spent $7.7bn in the third quarter, up from $6.6bn in the same period the year prior.

Profits in Exxon’s oil and gas production unit were down 49 per cent to $2.17bn on weaker prices, its lowest earnings in two years.

However, production rose about 3 per cent to 3.89 million barrels per day, the fourth quarter in a row of year-over year gains.

Read more: Weak oil prices push BP to $750m loss

Exxon Mobil’s refining business was down 25 per cent from last year, due to lower margins for its gasoline and diesel, whilst the company’s chemicals arm fell 66 per cent year-over-year. 

Despite this, Exxon shares were up 2.6 per cent in today.

Main image credit: Getty