- A logo of the Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 24, 2018.
- Its refining business posted a fourth-quarter operating net of $1.4 billion, up sequentially and a big swing from a year ago when results were hurt by pandemic-related demand declines.
- Exxon said on Monday it would combine its refining and chemicals businesses.
Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) posted an $8.87 billion profit in the fourth quarter, the most in seven years, as the biggest U.S. oil producer profited from high energy prices.
After fuel demand plummeted two years ago, the firm cut spending. Earnings have surpassed pre-pandemic levels since then, aided by rising oil prices, with the global oil benchmark Brent also at a seven-year high as reported by Reuters.
On Monday, Exxon disclosed a business shakeup to accelerate a $6-billion cut to operating expenses set in motion last year.
The revamping will “position us to lead in cash flow and earnings growth, operating performance, and the energy transition,” Chief Executive Darren Woods said in a statement.
A continuation of high oil prices would “cause us to increase the pace of the share repurchase program,” Chief Financial Officer Kathryn Mikells said.
Exxon restarted buybacks last month after a long suspension, with a pledge to buy $10 billion by the end of 2023.
Shares in midday trading went up 5% to $80.02, near a three-year high.
Oil earnings jump
“ExxonMobil closed a tumultuous year with results that can be described as solid,” Peter McNally, global sector lead at research firm Third Bridge.
Exxon reported an adjusted profit of $2.05 per share, 11 cents above analysts’ forecast as the bottom line benefited from soaring oil and gas prices, higher volumes and asset sales.
In the same quarter a year ago, Exxon posted an adjusted profit of 3 cents a share.
Earnings benefited from an 80% increase in oil prices and a doubling of natural gas prices compared to 2020.
It now plans to raise production in the top U.S. shale basin by 25% this year, in addition to a similar increase last year in the Permian, where output reached 460,000 BPD.
The company has eliminated the tab taken on during the 2020 downturn to keep paying dividends to shareholders.
It has now returned to pre-pandemic debt levels, down $20 billion last year to $47.7 billion.
“We have been cautious on the Exxon investment case through the pandemic,” said Borkhataria. “
Its refining business posted a fourth-quarter operating net of $1.4 billion, up sequentially and a big swing from a year ago when results were hurt by pandemic-related demand declines.
Exxon said on Monday it would combine its refining and chemicals businesses.
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