ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) posted its largest quarterly profit for Q4 in seven years, while its full-year 2021 cash flow from operating activities jumped to the highest since 2012 as oil and gas prices soared.
Exxon reported on Tuesday fourth-quarter 2021 earnings of $8.9 billion, or $2.08 per share assuming dilution, resulting in full-year earnings of $23 billion, or $5.39 per share.
Earnings per share excluding items came in at $2.05, ahead of the $1.94 per share forecast of the analyst consensus in The Wall Street Journal.
Cash flow from operating activities jumped to $48.129 billion for the full year, which was the highest level since 2012, Exxon said in a statement. The cash flow last year was more than enough to cover capital investments, debt reduction, and dividends.
Starting this quarter, Exxon launched share repurchases as part of the previously announced buyback program of up to $10 billion over the next 12 to 24 months. It also plans to spend between $21 billion and $24 billion this year, compared to the $16.6 billion spent last year.
Exxon's production in the Permian increased by nearly 100,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2021, with improved capital efficiency, the corporation said, adding that "The focus remains on continuing to grow free cash flow by increasing recovery through efficiency gains and technology applications."
"We've made great progress in 2021 and our forward plans position us to lead in cash flow and earnings growth, operating performance, and the energy transition," chairman and CEO Darren Woods said.
Before the earnings release, Exxon said it was streamlining its business structure by combining chemical and downstream companies and centralizing technology and engineering, and other support services, in order to reduce costs and boost effectiveness.
Exxon will relocate its corporate headquarters from Irving, Texas, to its campus north of Houston in a move expected to be completed mid-year 2023.
Following the release of the Q4 results topping expectations, Exxon shares were up 1.4% pre-market on Tuesday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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