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ExxonMobil Underwhelms With Q1 Earnings

ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) reported on Friday underwhelming earnings for the first quarter that were lower than consensus estimates, due to declining natural gas prices and refining margins and non-cash adjustments.

The U.S. supermajor booked first-quarter earnings of $8.2 billion, down from $11.4 billion for the first quarter of 2023. Earnings per share were $2.06 for the first quarter of 2024, down from $2.79 for the same period last year.

Exxon’s Q1 2024 earnings per share were below the analyst consensus forecast of $2.19 compiled by The Wall Street Journal.

The yearly decline in earnings was the result of industry refining margins and natural gas prices coming down from last year’s highs to trade within the ten-year historical range, Exxon said in a statement.

Compared to the fourth quarter, earnings fell by $1.8 billion, due to timing effects, lower base volumes, higher expenses from scheduled maintenance, and other primarily non-cash effects from tax and inventory adjustments.

Strong production growth in Exxon’s Guyana assets only partially offset lower natural gas realizations in the upstream and weaker industry refining margins and unfavorable timing effects in the downstream.

Earnings in Exxon’s chemical products business rose to $785 million, an increase of $414 million compared to the same quarter last year, thanks to higher margins, on the back of lower North American feed costs and higher margins from performance chemicals more than offsetting the decline in industry margins for polyethylene and polypropylene.

Exxon’s shareholder distributions were $6.8 billion in the quarter, including $3.8 billion of dividends and $3.0 billion of share repurchases.

“We delivered a strong quarter with continued growth in advantaged assets, such as Guyana, where production continues at higher-than-expected levels, contributing to historic economic growth for the Guyanese people,” Exxon’s chairman and chief executive officer Darren Woods said.

Exxon’s stock was down by 1.3% in pre-market trade after the underwhelming Q1 results.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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