The figuresEarnings fell 62 per cent to $3.5bn in its first half – and skidded 59 per cent to $1.7bn in the second quarter alone.
Why it's interestingRemember that time Apple knocked Exxon off the top spot as the world's largest listed company? That seems like ancient history now – earlier this week, Facebook overtook the oil giant to become the world's fourth-largest listed company. And there isn't much good news ahead: while we all thought oil had begun to pick up as US stocks showed signs of dwindling, in recent days the black stuff has been heading towards a bear market, with prices hovering around $42. It's a sign of the times that Exxon has scaled back its exploration costs heavily: today's results showed it has cut back by 38 per cent in the second quarter alone, spending a mere $5.2bn in the past three months. To be fair, Exxon isn't the only one having a tough time right now. Earlier this week Shell reported a 72 per cent drop in earnings, while BP profits have almost halved.
What Exxon Mobil said
Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer, said:
While our financial results reflect a volatile industry environment, Exxon Mobil remains focused on business fundamentals, cost discipline and advancing selective new investments across the value chain to extend our competitive advantage. The corporation benefits from scale and integration, which provide the financial flexibility to invest in attractive opportunities and grow long-term shareholder value.