Oil majors Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Friday reported fourth-quarter profits that beat analysts’ expectations, while revenues missed expectations. The results of both companies were aided in the prior-year quarter by benefits related to the U.S. tax reform. The two companies also reported higher oil-equivalent production in the quarter.
Exxon Mobil’s fourth-quarter net income fell 28 percent to $6.00 billion or $1.41 per share from $8.38 billion or $1.97 per share in the prior-year quarter.
The year-ago period’s results included a benefit of $5.9 billion related to the U.S. tax reform, partially offset by asset impairments of $1.3 billion.
Excluding U.S. tax reform and impairments, net earnings grew to $6.41 billion from $3.73 billion per share last year.
On average, 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.08 per share. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude one-time items.
Total revenues and other income rose to 71.90 billion from $66.52 billion last year, but missed analysts’ consensus estimate of $78.38 billion.
Exxon Mobil’s oil-equivalent production rose to 4.01 million oil-equivalent barrels from 3.99 million oil-equivalent barrels per day last year.
The company’s upstream earnings fell to $3.31 billion from $8.35 billion last year, as higher natural gas prices and liquids volume growth were offset by weaker crude oil prices.
Downstream earnings rose to $2.70 billion from $1.56 billion last year, while Chemical segment earnings declined to $0.74 billion from $1.27 billion last year, reflecting weaker margins.
Meanwhile, Chevron’s fourth-quarter attributable net income rose to $3.73 billion or $1.95 per share from $3.11 billion or $1.64 per share in the prior-year quarter.
The latest quarter’s results include an asset write-off totaling $270 million, while the year-ago period’s results included tax benefits of $2.02 billion related to U.S. tax reform.
The Street expected earnings of $1.87 per share.
Total revenues and other income rose to $42.35 billion from $37.62 billion a year ago, but missed analysts’ consensus estimate of $46.13 billion.
Chevron’s worldwide net oil-equivalent production rose to 3.08 million barrels per day from 2.74 million barrels per day last year.
Upstream segment’s earnings fell to $3.29 billion from $5.29 billion last year, reflecting the absence of the prior-year benefit of $3.33 billion from the U.S. tax reform, partly offset by higher crude oil production and realizations.
Downstream earnings declined to $0.86 billion from $1.28 billion last year, which included a $1.16 billion benefit from U.S. tax reform.
Chevron expects that its 2019 production will continue to grow by 4 to 7 percent, excluding the impact of asset sales.