First quarter earnings for Exxon Mobil Corp. rose 1 percent earning $9.5 billion, while earnings per share increased 6 percent and capital and exploration expenditures were up 33 percent, compared to a year earlier.
Quarterly profit increased due to higher earnings in its chemical business but oil and gas production decreased, the company said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. On an all oil-equivalent basis, production fell 3.5 percent from the first quarter of 2012; and excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries quote effects and divestments, production decreased 1.2 percent, the company added.
ExxonMobil's total production in the quarter averaged 4.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, declining 3.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
"ExxonMobil achieved strong results during the first quarter of 2013, while investing significantly to develop new energy supplies," commented ExxonMobil's Chairman Rex W. Tillerson in a press release. "ExxonMobil's financial performance enables continued investment to deliver the energy needed to help meet growing demand, support economic growth, and raise living standards around the world."
The company boosted its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to $.63/share, but trimmed 2Q 2013 share repurchase to $4 billion, analysts at Oppenheimer noted.
"As the largest publicly traded oil and gas company, [ExxonMobil] has long been a core holding for investors seeking a defensive investment with continued dividend growth," added Oppenheimer. "Low volatility, financial strength, capital discipline, operating efficiency and strong management are its most attractive characteristics, in our view. Barring an unlikely major acquisition, we don't see any catalyst in the next 12 months that could lift share performance above the S&P 500."
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