Oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Tuesday reported a 40 percent decline in profit for the fourth quarter from last year, reflecting an impairment charge and weak refining margins that more than offset higher revenues. However, both revenue and earnings per share for the quarter missed analysts' estimates.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil's fourth-quarter net income was $1.68 billion or $0.41 per share, down from $2.78 billion or $0.67 per share in the prior-year quarter.
The latest quarter's results include a U.S. Upstream asset impairment charge of about $2 billion mainly related to dry gas operations with undeveloped acreage in the Rocky Mountains region of the U.S.
On average, 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.70 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.
Total revenues and other income rose 2 percent to $61.02 billion from $59.81 billion last year. Analysts were looking for revenue of $62.28 billion.
Exxon Mobil's upstream, or exploration and production earnings for the quarter were a loss of $642 million, compared to earnings of $857 million last year. The results for the quarter reflect the impairment charge that offset higher liquids realizations.
Meanwhile, the company's downstream earnings declined 8 percent from last year to $1.24 billion, reflecting weaker refining and marketing margins.
Chemical segment earnings declined 9 percent from last year to $872 million, reflecting weaker margins and volume.
Exxon Mobil's oil-equivalent production in the quarter was 4.12 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, down 3 percent from last year. The decline was due to field decline and lower entitlements that were partly offset by increased project volumes, notably in Nigeria and Indonesia.
During the quarter, Exxon Mobil's capital and exploration expenses were down 35 percent from the year-ago period to $4.83 billion.
by RTT Staff Writer
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