Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) surpassed analysts’ expectations on revenue and earnings for the third quarter of 2018. Shares rose over 1.7% in early morning trade on Friday.
Total revenue increased to $76.6 billion from $61.1 billion in the prior-year period. GAAP net income grew 57% to $6.2 billion or $1.46 per share compared to the same period last year. Analysts had projected earnings of $1.22 per share on revenues of $73 billion.
Exxon reported cash flow from operating activities of $11.1 billion, which is the highest since the third quarter of 2014. Capital and exploration expenditures rose 10% from last year to $6.6 billion.
Oil-equivalent production dropped 2% to 3.8 million barrels per day from the year-ago period. Excluding entitlement effects and divestments, liquids production grew 6% while natural gas volumes fell 4%.
The rise in liquids production was aided by growth in North America, which more than offset higher downtime and decline. The drop in natural gas volumes was largely due to a continuing near-term shift in US unconventional development from dry gas to liquids.
Total earnings in the upstream division increased significantly from the previous year, driven by higher liquids prices and volume growth in the US, which helped offset lower international volumes. The Permian unconventional production saw strong growth, with a ramp-up to 38 rigs in the Midland and Delaware basins.
Profits in the downstream segment benefited from higher volumes and margins in the US but were hurt by maintenance and downtime in the international operations. The chemical segment saw earnings decline as weak margins, higher downtime and maintenance in the international operations offset strong margins and volume growth in the US.
During the quarter, Exxon posted year-over-year increases in refinery throughput, petroleum product sales and chemical prime product sales.
The company distributed $3.5 billion in dividends to shareholders in the third quarter.
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