Exxon Mobil shares drop 2% as profits double, but still fall short of Street expectations

Key Points
  • Exxon Mobil reported quarterly earnings that fell slightly short of analysts expectations.
  • The results doubled from the same period last year.
  • The oil major's stock fell 2 percent.
Exxon Mobil workers walk near an entrance to a company location.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Exxon Mobil on Friday reported quarterly earnings that fell slightly short of analysts expectations but nevertheless doubled from the same period last year.

Shares of Exxon were down 2 percent at midmorning. The stock also fell 2 percent in premarket trading. See the latest market action here.

The oil major earned $3.4 billion, or 78 cents a share in the second quarter, compared with $1.7 billion, or 41 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Exxon posted $62.9 billion in revenue, up 9 percent from $57.7 billion.

Analysts had expected Exxon to report earnings of 84 cents a share on $61.9 billion in revenue.

"These solid results across our businesses were driven by higher commodity prices and a continued focus on operations and business fundamentals," Darren Woods, Exxon's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Our job is to grow long-term value by investing in our integrated portfolio of opportunities that succeed regardless of market conditions."

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The world's largest publicly traded oil company continues to drive down costs amid a tough price environment. Spending on capital expenditures and exploration fell 24 percent to $3.9 billion.

Exxon's cash flow generated by its operations — a key metric of financial health in the oil and gas industry — was $6.9 billion, up from $4.6 billion a year earlier.

Earnings in the upstream sector, which includes exploration and production of oil, came in at $1.2 billion, a rise of $890 million, as Exxon's oil and gas fetched a higher price.

Exxon also saw earnings in its downstream business rise $560 million to $1.4 billion, primarily due to better margins in its operations in the segment, which includes refining crude oil into fuels.

In Exxon's chemicals business, earnings fell $232 million to $985 million as margins weakened.

Exxon declared a 77-cent quarterly dividend on Wednesday, unchanged from the prior quarter.

Q2 Highlights and Headwinds

This week, Exxon said it made a significant oil discovery off the coast of Guyana in South America, a key growth region for the company. In June, the company decided to develop the first phase of the nearby Liza field, one of the largest oil discoveries in the last 10 years, projecting it will start producing in 2020.

The Irving, Texas-based company also announced in May it would begin operating Mobil-branded gas stations in Mexico in the second half of the year.

The oil major faced a number of headwinds in the second quarter. Shareholders approved a vote asking Exxon to disclose risks to its business posed by climate change initiatives.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also forged ahead with an investigation into Exxon, alleging in June the company is "perpetrating an ongoing fraudulent scheme" that misstates the value of its assets, a charge Exxon called "inflammatory, reckless and false."

Those troubles continued last week when the Treasury Department fined Exxon for violating sanctions against Russia. The company has launched a legal challenge to the finding.

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