ExxonMobil’s fourth-quarter performance
ExxonMobil (XOM) posted its fourth-quarter results on February 1. In the fourth quarter, ExxonMobil’s revenues at $71.9 billion missed analysts’ estimates by ~7%. However, the company’s fourth-quarter adjusted EPS was at $1.4, which beat analysts’ estimated EPS of $1.1 by ~31%. ExxonMobil’s fourth-quarter adjusted EPS was 60% higher than its adjusted EPS in the fourth quarter of 2017.
ExxonMobil’s adjusted earnings rose from $3.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 to $6.4 billion in the fourth quarter. The earnings growth was due to a rise in upstream and downstream earnings. The growth was partially offset by the fall in chemical earnings YoY (year-over-year) in the fourth quarter.
ExxonMobil’s upstream earnings rose 47% YoY to $3.7 billion in the fourth quarter due to higher natural gas prices and better volumes. ExxonMobil’s total hydrocarbon production rose 0.5% YoY to 4.0 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter. The increase was driven by the higher liquid output from the Permian region.
ExxonMobil’s downstream earnings rose 187% YoY in the fourth quarter. The earnings rose due to better margins (led by crude oil differentials), lower maintenance activities, and favorable tax impacts in the United States. ExxonMobil used its logistics capabilities to utilize price-advantaged North American crude in its refineries, which raised the earnings. However, ExxonMobil’s chemical earnings fell 20% YoY mainly due to weaker margins.
Performance in 2018
In 2018, ExxonMobil’s adjusted earnings rose 38% YoY to $21.0 billion. The earnings rose was due to higher upstream and downstream earnings. The rise was offset by a fall in chemical earnings. In 2018, ExxonMobil’s adjusted EPS of $4.9 beat analysts’ estimate of $4.6.
Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A) fourth-quarter adjusted EPS of $1.4 also beat analysts’ estimate and rose 15% YoY.
Total (TOT) and BP (BP) are expected to post 13% and 27% higher EPS in the fourth quarter—compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Suncor Energy’s (SU) earnings are expected to fall 40% YoY in the fourth quarter.