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U.S. oil and gas supermajor Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) is likely to post a good earnings report after disclosing it received a $2.1 billion boost to third quarter earnings from higher oil prices and robust refining margins, only partially offset by a fall in profits by its chemicals segment. According to the company, rising crude prices contributed to a gain of ~ $1.1 billion over the previous quarter, while refining profits increased by ~$1 billion, the company revealed in a filing on Wednesday. Meanwhile, an increase in gas prices added ~$400 million to the bottom line, which was unfortunately offset by a decline in chemicals profits by a similar margin.
According to John Royall, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Exxon’s latest guidance suggests it will report $2.33 earnings per share (eps), a figure in-line with the Wall Street consensus. Analysts estimate Exxon’s Q3 2023 earnings will increase from the second quarter, marking the first sequential increase after three consecutive decreases, the company’s longest losing streak since the crash in oil prices from 2014 to 2016. Exxon is the first oil major to post third-quarter earnings expectations, with similar updates expected from Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), BP Plc (NYSE:BP), Shell Plc (NYSE:SHEL) and TotalEnergies SE (NYSE:TTE).
In other news, Reuters has reported that Exxon is considering selling its 70.7% stake in Italy's main LNG terminal to giant asset manager BlackRock. According to Reuters, at least four international buyers have expressed interest in buying the Adriatic LNG terminal, currently va;lued at ~€800M (~$881M). Italy plans to increase its LNG imports to replace what it previously received via pipeline from Russia.
QatarEnergy and Italian gas grid operator Snam are the minority owners in the Adriatic LNG terminal with 22% and 7.3% stakes, respectively. Snam, with first right to refusal if a partner decides to divest, has indicated it could increase its current stake.
By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com
Alex Kimani is a veteran finance writer, investor, engineer and researcher for Safehaven.com.