Exxon Mobil profit tops estimates but production falls

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(Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) on Friday 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.

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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.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION80.67+0.99+1.24%

Its shares rose nearly 2 percent to $82.20 in pre-market trading. They are down 4.9 percent 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.

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“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 percent to 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent and natural gas output dropped 4 percent, the company said.

Earnings from the company’s downstream unit, which refines crude oil into gasoline and other products, rose 72 percent to $1.64 billion, which Chief Executive 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 percent in the third quarter over a year-earlier, Exxon and other oil companies are minting profits again. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) posted income of $5.6 billion on Thursday and BP Plc (BP.L) reported profit of $3.8 billion in the period.

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