Revenue of $117 Billion

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-05-01 Email Print this article Print

Wall Street expectations were not met by the 17 percent year over year earnings gained by Exxon Mobil.


The world's largest publicly traded company earned $2.03 a share in the first quarter, up from net income of $9.28 billion, or $1.62 a share, in the same period last year.

But analysts on average had expected the company to earn $2.11, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue in the quarter rose to $116.85 billion from $87.22 billion last year.

Earnings from the company's exploration and production segment increased 45 percent to $8.79 billion, while its refining profits dropped 39 percent to $1.17 billion.

The company said its production shortfall resulted in part from production-sharing contracts that give host countries a larger share of oil and gas produced as commodity prices rise. The decline of older fields and the loss of operations that were nationalized by Venezuela last year also hurt production.

Exxon reached a deal with a Nigerian oil union on Thursday after an eight-day old strike had shut down virtually all of the 800,00 barrels per day of production in the country, which could hit the company's second output figures.

"The question is going to come and you always have to ask it every year: Are they seeing any acceleration in mature field declines? Because slowly the majors are beginning to see this to some degree," said James Halloran, energy analyst with National City Private Client Group in Cleveland.

Halloran was concerned because very little of the volume shortfall appears to be one-time items such as maintenance.

Earnings at Exxon's chemicals unit dropped 17 percent to $1.03 billion.

"There is something seriously wrong with our economy when Exxon's record $11 billion in quarterly profits are seen as a disappointment by Wall Street," presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said in a statement.

"But on Main Street, middle class families are facing devastating choices every day between buying groceries and filling up their gas tanks to get to work."

Exxon shares closed $3.37, or 3.6 percent, down at $89.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Through Wednesday's close they were down less than 1 percent this year, underperforming the Chicago Board Options Exchange's oil index .OIX, which is up more than 2 percent over the same period.

(Additional reporting by Euan Rocha in New York and Lori Santos in North Carolina)

(Editing by Mark Porter/Andre Grenon)


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