INTERNATIONAL – Exxon Mobil delivered its strongest third quarter in four years with a 57 percent jump in profit, halting a series of disappointing results and joining its European rivals in profiting from rising energy prices.
Exxon shares climbed as the American supermajor appeared to emerge from years of production setbacks after failed bets on Russia and Canada that undercut its previously gold-plated reputation among investors. The company made special mention of the Permian Basin as a contributor to its production renaissance.
Output of oil and natural gas surpassed expectations for the first time in 10 quarters. Meanwhile, Exxon’s refineries benefited from cheap crude from Western Canada and the Permian of Texas and New Mexico. Operational performance “improved significantly” from the previous quarter, chief executive Darren Woods said on Friday.
Arresting the output decline has been a key challenge for Woods, whose mega projects from Guyana to Mozambique will not add significantly to earnings until the middle of the next decade.
Once a regular purchaser of its own stock, Exxon provided no update on plans to buy back shares, making it an outlier among supermajor peers who have been keen to return capital to shareholders via this method. BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total have all reported earnings that beat estimates amid rising oil prices.