ExxonMobil reported $5.48 billion in profits for the first quarter as oil and gas prices rose steadily
NEW YORK – ExxonMobil reported $5.48 billion in first-quarter profit as oil and gas prices rose steadily, more than double its profit compared to the same quarter last year.
But the oil giant was dealt a major blow as it abandoned its Russian operations due to the war, writing off $3.4 billion.
Including that loss, the oil giant reported earnings of $1.28 per share on Friday, well below expectations of analysts polled by FactSet, who were looking for $2.23 per share.
Revenue in Irving, Texas, was $90.5 billion, well above revenue of $59.15 billion during the same quarter last year.
Oil prices rose steadily during the first quarter after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sending European countries that rely heavily on Russia for energy and others to find alternative sources of fuel. A barrel of US benchmark crude rose from $76 to nearly $130 a barrel before ending the quarter at $100, and drivers are filling up on increasingly expensive gasoline.
Natural gas prices are also up, jumping from $3.50 per million British thermal units to around $5.60, inflating home heating bills and electricity prices.
“As we reflect on recent events, our mission has never been more clear or important,” CEO Darren Woods said on a conference call with investors on Friday. “The need to reliably and affordably meet the evolving needs of society is what consumers and businesses around the world demand and what we delivered this quarter.”
With energy prices soaring, Exxon’s stock price has gone up, too. The company announced Friday that it is expanding a share buyback program, telling investors that Exxon can buy back up to $30 billion of its stock through 2023. It repurchased shares totaling $2.1 billion during the quarter, driving liquidity to investors as its stock price rose.
The company said Exxon’s production fell to 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, down 4% from the fourth quarter of 2021 due to unscheduled weather-related outages, planned maintenance and divestment. Production grew in the Permian Basin and the company was on track to achieve a 25% increase in production there in 2022 compared to last year.
Exxon said it plans to eliminate routine flaring, the process of burning what it considers surplus natural gas, in the Permian Basin by the end of the year. Exxon also announced progress on carbon reduction initiatives. During the quarter, Exxon secured funding to expand a carbon capture facility in LaBarge, Wyoming and announced plans to produce renewable fuels.
Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. fell slightly during morning trading.
Also on Friday, Chevron reported quarterly earnings of $6.26 billion, more than four times its earnings in the same period last year. On a stock basis, earnings from the San Ramon, California energy producer were below Wall Street expectations, according to a Facttest survey, but Chevron does not adjust its reported results based on one-time events such as asset sales. Revenue increased 41% to $54.37 billion.