Exxon Mobil: Will its growth investments pay off?

Exxon Mobil is scheduled to report earnings on Friday and investors will look to see if higher oil prices and the company’s investment in growth is paying off.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters anticipate Exxon Mobil will post earnings of $1.27 a share on revenue of $72.59 billion. If this revenue reading holds true, it will be a 15.4% increase in revenue versus a year ago. In the same quarter last year the company reported earnings of 78 cents per share.

Exxon Mobil – an S&P 500 component – had a positive first quarter, with the company posting earnings of $4.7 billion, or $1.09 per share, compared to $4 billion a year earlier. The company boosted its capital and exploration expenditures in the quarter by 17% to $4.9 billion, while oil-equivalent production was 3.9 million barrels per day, down 6% from the first quarter of 2017.

“Increased commodity prices, coupled with a focus on operating efficiently and strengthening our portfolio, resulted in higher earnings and the highest quarterly cash flow from operations and asset sales since 2014,” said Exxon Mobil CEO Darren W. Woods. “Through new discoveries and acquired acreage, we’ve positioned our Upstream portfolio well for future growth. We also made good progress on our plans to improve the production mix and grow premium product sales in the Downstream and Chemical businesses.”

The company noted in the first quarter solid progression in developing  the company’s U.S. unconventional acreage, with 27 operated rigs in the Permian and four operated rigs in the Bakken. Permian and Bakken unconventional production has experienced 18% growth year-over-year. The latest results will show home much more the company is positioning itself to benefit from the U.S. shale oil boom.