Exxon Mobil Profit Beats Street as Oil Prices Inch Higher

By Ernest Scheyder Markets Reuters

(REUTERS)

Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM), the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday helped by rising crude prices and lower costs.

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The results reflected the slow and steady improvement in the global oil and gas industry as commodity prices inch higher after a two-year rout.

The quarterly report was Exxon's first under Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods. Rex Tillerson, the former CEO, has been nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump to be secretary of state and is awaiting confirmation.

Exxon took a $2 billion charge to write down the value of Rocky Mountain natural gas assets, a rare move for a company that typically eschews such accounting methodologies.

Fourth-quarter earnings fell to $1.68 billion, or 41 cents per share, from $2.78 billion, or 67 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding the $2 billion writedown, Exxon earned 90 cents per share. By that measure, analysts expected 70 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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Production fell 3 percent to 4.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Exxon's capital budget dropped 35 percent in the quarter to $4.83 billion.

Shares of Texas-based Exxon rose 0.2 percent to $85.05 in premarket trading. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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