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Exxon Misses Profit Forecast Despite Strong Refining Business

Record refinery throughput and higher oil prices raised ExxonMobil’s (NYSE: XOM) earnings for the third quarter compared to the second quarter, but the profit missed Wall Street expectations anyway.

Exxon reported on Friday earnings of $9.1 billion for the third quarter, compared with second-quarter earnings of $7.9 billion. The higher quarter-on-quarter profit was the result of strong operating performance, including record third-quarter refining throughput, as well as a higher crude price and industry refining margins. These factors were partly offset by weaker chemical margins, unfavorable derivative mark-to-market impacts, and trading timing effects that are expected to unwind over time, Exxon said.

Earlier this month, Exxon already announced it expects a $2.1 billion boost to its Q3 profits from higher oil prices and robust refining margins, only partially offset by a fall in profits in the chemicals segment.

In the third quarter, Exxon saw its best-ever third-quarter global refinery throughput at 4.2 million barrels per day.  

Exxon’s earnings per share came in at $2.25, missing the Street consensus of $2.37.

Following the results release, Exxon’s shares were marginally higher by 0.4% as the market opened, due to strong cash flows for Q3 and the dividend increase which was a penny higher than expectations.

Exxon, which has raised its annual dividend for 41 consecutive years, declared a fourth-quarter dividend of $0.95 per share, payable on December 11, 2023. The dividend was increased by $0.04 per share, or 4%.

Meanwhile, cash flow from operations was $16.0 billion for the third quarter, up by $6.6 billion versus the second quarter.

Exxon expects its full-year capital and exploration expenditures to be at the top end of the guidance of $23 billion to $25 billion “as the company pursues value accretive opportunities,” the supermajor said.

Earlier in October, ExxonMobil announced a deal to buy Pioneer Natural Resources in an all-stock transaction valued at $59.5 billion. The implied total enterprise value of the transaction, including net debt, is around $64.5 billion.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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