Exxon (XOM) Q4 earnings report 2023

Exxon Mobil reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations, but the company’s profit declined significantly from same period the year prior as oil prices weakened.

Exxon declared a dividend for the first quarter of 95 cents per share payable on March 11. The company returned $32.4 billion to shareholders in 2023 through $14.9 billion in dividends and $17.4 billion in share buybacks.

Exxon’s stock was up less than 1% in morning trading.

Here’s what Exxon reported for the fourth quarter compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

Earnings per share: $2.48 adjusted vs. $2.21 expectedRevenue: $84.3 billion vs. $85.2 billion expected

Exxon reported net income of $7.63 billion, or $1.91 per share, for the final three months of 2023, down 40% from the $12.75 billion, or $3.09 per share, profit reported for the same quarter in 2022.

Profits were hurt by a $2 billion impairment charge in California from regulatory issues that prevented production and distribution from coming back on line. Excluding those charges, Exxon earned $2.48 per share, beating Wall Street’s expectations of $2.21 per share.

For 2023, the company booked $36 billion profit, down 35% from $55.7 billion in the year prior.

Crude oil prices were volatile in 2023, with West Texas Intermediate and Brent falling more than 10% for the year on a weakening Chinese economy and record oil production in the U.S.

“If you take the market out of it, you take prices and margins out and just look at it on an apples to apples basis, we’ve more than doubled our earnings power from 2019 to 2023,” Exxon CEO Darren Woods said in an interview Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

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Exxon’s stock reached a 2023 closing high of $120.20 on Sept. 27, when oil prices hit their peak but the company’s shares finished out the year 16% lower from that high as crude pulled back.

Exxon’s profits from its oil and gas segment declined to $4.1 billion in the quarter, down 49% compared with the $8.2 billion reported in the year ago period. The company’s energy products saw profits fall to $3.2 billion, down 21% compared with $4.07 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Chemical product profits came in at $189 million in the final three months of 2023, down 24% from $250 million in the year-ago period.

Capital and exploration expenditures rose about 4% in the fourth quarter to $7.76 billion compared with the year-ago period when spending stood at $7.46 billion.  The higher spending reflected investments it made in the Permian Basin and Guyana as well as its decision to enter the lithium market. Exxon said it expects to begin lithium production in 2027.

Exxon produced 3.73 million oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2023, largely flat compared with the year prior. Production in the Permian Basin and Guyana increased 18% over 2022. The company expects net average production of 3.8 million barrels per day in 2024.

The oil major agreed to buy shale rival Pioneer Natural Resources in October for about $60 billion in an all-stock transaction. The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year.

Read the full press release here.

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