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Oil Major Profits Disappoint

Oil Major Profits Disappoint

Friday February 9, 2018

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Big Oil’s big profits are back

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- The oil majors posted some mixed results for the fourth quarter. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) badly missed expectations, reporting lower-than-expected profit as well as lower-than-expected production. That led to a selloff in their stock prices.

- Yet, the oil majors are earning nearly as much profits with Brent at $60 per barrel as they were when oil was trading at $100 per barrel.

- The savage cost cutting, layoffs, assets sales, and squeezing of oilfield service companies has helped the oil majors return to very profitable territory. They expect a continued upswing in earnings.

- Yet, analysts were disappointed this season, and investors are clamoring for more dividend hikes and share buybacks. Stock prices have taken a hit, although that has been made worse by the global financial upheaval.

2. Refining margins shrink

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- The disappointing results from the oil majors – even as they posted large profits – came in part because of the downturn in refining margins.

- Integrated oil companies…

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