Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published May 1, 2014 at 6:29 AM | Page modified May 1, 2014 at 1:18 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Exxon earnings slip on lower production, refining

Exxon Mobil said Thursday that its net income fell 4 percent in the fourth quarter as it produced less oil and natural gas and posted weaker refining results.


AP Energy Writer

advertising

NEW YORK —

Exxon Mobil said Thursday that its net income fell 4 percent in the fourth quarter as it produced less oil and natural gas and posted weaker refining results.

Cost-cutting and higher prices for its oil and gas helped the company beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts. Shares rose slightly in trading before the opening bell.

Exxon earned $9.1 billion in the first three months of the year on revenue of $106.77 billion. During the same period last year, Exxon earned $9.5 billion on revenue of $108.36 billion.

On a per-share basis, Exxon earned $2.10, compared with $2.12 last year. Analysts expected earnings of $1.88 per share, on average, according to FactSet.

Exxon, like its Big Oil peers, has been working to reduce costs to offset the increase in spending needed to find and develop large new oil and gas projects that can deliver enough production to replace natural declines in current fields.

"These companies are spending a lot of money and they aren't seeing the returns," said Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones.

It is the fourth quarter in a row that Exxon's profit has fallen compared with the year before.

But Youngberg described Exxon's results as "a strong start to the year" in part because of its ability to cut costs.

Exxon's capital and exploration expenditures fell 28 percent in the first quarter, which helped deliver higher profits even though oil and gas production fell 5.6 percent.

"Like its peers, (Exxon) is growth-challenged on the production front," Youngberg said. "Investors want these companies to focus less on volume growth and more on profitability but in reality they have to strike a balance."

Exxon's oil production fell 2 percent to 2.1 million barrels per day from 2.2 million barrels per day. Natural gas production fell 9.1 percent.

Earnings from oil and gas production rose, however, because natural gas prices rose, the company produced relatively more higher-profit crude oil, and Exxon controlled costs.

Refining results were hurt by higher prices for raw materials such as crude oil and natural gas and relatively lower prices for petroleum-based fuels and products such as diesel, gasoline and chemicals.

Jonathan Fahey can be reached at http://twitter.com/JonathanFahey .



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year.

Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year.

Unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now.

Advertising

Advertising

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►