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Exxon Doubles Q1 Earnings, Good Omen For Oil Industry

ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) reported on Friday earnings of US$0.95 per diluted share for the first quarter—beating analyst expectations as higher commodity prices and cost cuts boosted profits.

Exxon’s first-quarter earnings more than doubled to US$4.01 billion from US$1.81 billion for the first quarter of 2016, when oil prices had hit their lowest point in 12 years. This translates into earnings of US$0.95 per diluted share for Q1 2017, versus US$0.43 per share earnings for Q1 2016, pummeling consensus estimates for earnings of US$0.85.

According to Zachs, Exxon was likely to beat on earnings in Q1, due to the higher oil prices this past quarter, compared to the lows saw in Q1 2016.

Exxon’s total revenues in Q1 2017 rose to US$63.287 billion from US$48.707 billion for Q1 2016. The revenue figure for the first quarter this year, however, missed the consensus estimate of US$64.73 billion.

Cash flow from operations and assets sales, on the other hand, surged to US$8.9 billion from US$5 billion in the year-ago period.

In the upstream, higher liquids and gas realizations resulted in earnings of US$2.3 billion, compared to a loss of US$76 million for the first quarter last year. Production, however, dropped 4 percent on an oil-equivalent basis, mostly due to lower entitlements and higher maintenance activity mainly in Canada and Nigeria. Exxon’s upstream in the U.S. is still in the loss, of US$18 million, but much lower than the US$832-million loss in the first quarter of 2016.

Related: Is The Geopolitical Risk Premium In Oil Overrated?

Downstream earnings increased by US$210 million to come in at US$1.1 billion, thanks to increased refinery throughput, Exxon said.

Earlier this week, the company announced another increase in dividends. Exxon has increased its annual dividend payment to shareholders for 35 consecutive years.

Following the results release, Exxon’s shares were up 1.65 percent in pre-market trade on the NYSE.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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