Exxon Mobil Corporation’s (XOM - Free Report) strong third-quarter 2018 results were aided by robust oil and gas prices along with healthier fuel margins.
The largest publicly traded integrated energy company’s earnings per share of $1.46 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.21. The bottom line also improved from the year-earlier quarter’s 93 cents.
Total revenues in the quarter rose to $76,605 million from $61,100 million a year ago and also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $72,455 million.
Investors should know that healthy oil prices also backed smaller rival Chevron Corp.’s (CVX) third-quarter results.
Upstream: Quarterly earnings were recorded at $4.2 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the year-ago quarter. Robust price realizations from oil and natural gas primarily drove the upside.
Despite ramped up rig activities across unconventional acres in Permian region, total production averaged 3.786 million barrels of oil-equivalent per day (MMBOE/d), lower than 3.878 MMBOE/d a year ago.
Liquid production increased year over year to 2.286 million barrels per day (MMB/D) from 2.280 MMB/D. However, natural gas production was 9.001 BCF/d (billions of cubic feet per day), down from 9.585 BCF/d in the year-ago quarter.
Downstream: The segment recorded profits of $1.6 billion, up from $1.5 billion for the July-to-September quarter of 2017. Strong fuel margins in North America and Europe along with reduced planned maintenance works supported downstream businesses.
ExxonMobil's refinery throughput averaged 4.4 million barrels per day (MMB/D), marginally higher than the year-earlier level of 4.3 MMB/D.
Chemical: This unit contributed to the company’s $713 million profit, down from $1.1 billion in the prior-year quarter, thanks to the commencement of turnaround works of chemical plant in Singapore.
During the quarter under review, ExxonMobil generated cash flow of $12.6 billion from operations and asset divestments, up from $8.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. The energy giant returned $3.5 billion to shareholders through dividends. Capital and exploration spending rose roughly 10% year over year to $6.6 billion.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
ExxonMobil carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other prospective players in the energy space are Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR - Free Report) , Enbridge Inc. (ENB - Free Report) and Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras (PBR - Free Report) . While Enbridge sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Murphy and Petrobras carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Enbridge will likely see earnings growth of 42.2% in 2018.
Murphy has average positive surprise of 96.5% for the last four quarters.
Petrobras’ bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, the average being 10.4%.
Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies
It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +21.9% in 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +115.0%, +109.3%, +104.9%, +98.6%, and +67.1%.
And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 19X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.
See Them Free>>