Join The Discussion

 

Fort Worth's TPG takes controlling interest in Hollywood, sports powerhouse

A Fort Worth firm has gone Hollywood.

read more >

Downtown Fort Worth TIF reaches parking agreement with four garages

The TIF board will meet Oct. 29 to consider the agreements.

read more >

Oil price drop goes unnoticed in Texas' Eagle Ford shale

CUERO, Texas — From her vantage point of the U.S. shale oil boom, Jill Potts doesn't see anything to worry about.

read more >

Renovated Daniel-Meyer to put TCU basketball in the spotlight

You might say the Texas Christian University men’s basketball team was the sacrificial lamb in the university’s football-motivated move from the Mountain West Conference to the Big 12 Conference. The rising

read more >

E-Mist finds focus: Ebola gives infection control start-up its moment in spotlight

In the space of 72 hours, George Robertson found his company’s products on the cover of The New York Times and himself on CNN and WFAA, along with innumerable mentions in various media around the world.

read more >

Exxon earnings rise as chemicals profits surge

JONATHAN FAHEY,AP Energy Writer

 

 


NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. said earnings rose slightly in the first quarter as profits from chemicals production surged enough to offset declining production of oil and gas. Lower taxes also helped.

The Irving, Texas, company reported Thursday that net income totaled $9.5 billion in the quarter, or $2.12 per share, on revenue of $108.8 billion. During last year's quarter, Exxon earned $9.45 billion, or $2 per share, on revenue of $124.1 billion.

Analysts expected Exxon to earn $2.05 per share, on average.

Exxon's chemicals and U.S. refining operations took advantage of the same low prices that dented revenue and profitability in its oil and gas production operations.

Prices of oil and natural gas in the U.S. have been lower in recent months than prices abroad. That has reduced Exxon's earnings from U.S. oil and gas production, and forced the company to cut back natural gas production.

But those low prices meant lower raw material costs for the company's U.S. refineries and chemicals operations, which consume enormous amounts of natural gas. Exxon was then able to sell those cheaply-produced chemicals and fuels around the world at enormous profit.

"It's just a huge cost advantage," said Brian Youngberg, an energy analyst at Edward Jones, of the low domestic natural gas prices.

Profit at Exxon's global chemicals operation grew 62 percent in the quarter, to $639 million. U.S. refining profit grew 72 percent to $1 billion.

Exxon's results were also helped by a sharp decline in corporate and financing expenses, which Exxon attributed to "favorable tax impacts."

The company's per share earnings grew faster than net income because the company has been aggressively buying back shares from investors.

Exxon, the nation's largest oil and gas company and the world's most valuable company by market capitalization, produced 3.5 percent less oil and gas in the quarter, an acceleration of a long-term trend in declining production at the company that worries investors. Oil production slipped as its oil fields experienced natural declines from peak production. Natural gas output in the U.S. was cut back in the face of low prices.

"This company has been very growth-challenged for some time," Youngberg said. "If they can get to the point they could keep (production) flat investors would look very positively at that."

Exxon shares slipped 94 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $88.49 in morning trading Thursday. They are still near the high end of their 52-week range of $77.13 to $93.67.

 

< back

Email   email
hide
Ebola
How worried are you about Ebola spreading?