Exxon Mobil on Friday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ expectations, with income bolstered by improved performance in its oil and gas drilling operations and fuel refining segment.
Shares of the world’s largest publicly traded oil company rose 1.7 percent in premarket trading after the report.
Exxon’s quarterly profits surged 57 percent to $62.4 billion. Profits came in at $1.46 per share, compared with $1.23 forecast by analysts in a Refinitiv survey.
Revenue also beat expectations, coming in at $76.61 billion, versus the Street’s estimate for $73.55 billion.
The latest report reversed a series of earnings disappointments. Prior to this quarter, profits fell short of Wall Street’s expectations in four of the last five quarters. Shares of the Irving, Texas-based company are down 1.8 percent this year.
Exxon saw production of oil, gas and other hydrocarbons dip slightly from the year-ago period, but earnings in the upstream segment still increased. Profits more than doubled to $4.23 billion, with higher output in U.S. oil fields growing and higher prices and one-time tax impacts offsetting downtime and lower production in its international operations.
Exxon’s operations in the Permian basin, America’s top oil-producing region, are in focus. The company said in July it is scaling back natural gas output and concentrating on pumping higher-value crude oil. The region experienced “strong growth,” Exxon said.
“We’re pleased with the increase in production from the second quarter of 2018 recognizing it reflects contributions from just one of our key growth areas, the Permian,” Chairman and CEO Darren W. Woods said in a statement. “We expect to continue to increase volumes over time as we ramp up activity in the Permian and new projects start up.”
Profits in Exxon’s refining and marketing operations improved after rough second quarter. Earnings of $1.64 billion more than doubled last quarter’s profits and slightly improved upon year-ago levels.
The company also reported heavier-than-expected maintenance at oil refineries in several countries and operational issues that weighed on profits. Executives warned investors to expect more work on those refineries in the coming quarters as Exxon retools the facilities to process low-sulfur fuels that will help the shipping industry meet stricter maritime emissions rules.
The company continued to see high downtime in its international refining segment in the third quarter, contributing to a 40 percent drop on overseas earnings for the business.
Cash flow from operations, a key measure of financial health for oil companies, came in at $11.1 billion, the best reading for the metric in four years.