Why ExxonMobil missed 2Q13 earnings expectations

Part 4

Why ExxonMobil’s chemical segment was weaker in 2Q13

Chemicals segment was weaker in 2Q13

Quarter-over-quarter, XOM’s chemical segment earnings were down $381 million. The company cited lower margins due to weaker aromatics prices as the reason for the $200 million earnings reduction, partially offset (with $30 million) by an improved sales mix (which generally means more sales volumes of higher-margin products). Aromatics comprise benzene, toluene, and xylenes, which are used in a variety of end products. Prices may have been under pressure either due to weaker demand, more supply, or a combination of both.

2013.09.13 - XOM Chemical EarningsEnlarge Graph

Further, $210 million of the quarter-over-quarter reduction in earnings was due to start-up costs from a new facility in Singapore and the absence of gains from prior quarter asset sales.

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