Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Thursday said its third-quarter earnings fell 18%, as profits at its downstream segment plunged on significantly weaker refining margins, masking growth at its exploration and production business.
Exxon Mobil reported net income of $7.87 billion, or $1.79 a share, down from $9.57 billion, or $2.09 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 2.4% to $112.37 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently expected a per-share profit of $1.77 and revenue of $107.39 billion.
The world's largest publicly traded oil company is also the largest natural gas producer in the U.S., since its $25 billion acquisition of XTO Energy Inc. in 2010. Exxon has added to its shale-gas assets through additional deals since then.
Exxon's production has been mostly lower over the past year. A North American shale-drilling boom has contributed to fluctuations in oil and natural-gas prices that have challenged the sector.
In the latest period, the company's refining and marketing business reported operating earnings plunged 81% to $592 million, as weaker margins, primarily in its refining business, decreased profits by $2.4 billion.
Exploration and production operating earnings rose 12% to $6.71 billion. Production increased 1.5% on an oil-equivalent basis.
The company spent $3 billion for stock buybacks during the quarter to reduce the number of shares outstanding.
Shares closed Wednesday at $88.81 and were inactive in recent premarket trading. The stock is up 2.6% this year.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 31, 2013 09:05 ET (13:05 GMT)