"ExxonMobil posted solid first quarter results despite the slowdown in the global marketplace and sharply lower commodity prices. ExxonMobil's first quarter earnings were $4.6 billion, down 58% from the first quarter of last year. Earnings per share were down 54% reflecting lower earnings and the benefit of the share purchase program," said ExxonMobil's Chairman, Rex W. Tillerson.
"In spite of the dramatic changes to the global economic environment, ExxonMobil is maintaining its long-term focus and disciplined approach to capital investment. In the first quarter, capital and exploration project spending increased to $5.8 billion, up 5% from last year. We are committed to investing in our world-class inventory of projects to develop new energy supplies which are vital to economic growth," he continued.
"The Corporation returned significant cash to shareholders in the first quarter, distributing a total of $9.0 billion through dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding."
FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
First Quarter 2009 vs. First Quarter 2008
Upstream earnings were $3,503 million, down $5,282 million from the first quarter of 2008. Lower crude oil realizations reduced earnings approximately $4.4 billion while lower natural gas prices decreased earnings about $500 million. Higher operating expenses reduced earnings about $300 million.
On an oil-equivalent basis, production was up slightly from the first quarter of 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was up 2%.
Liquids production totaled 2,475 kbd (thousands of barrels per day), up 7 kbd from the first quarter of 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, liquids production was up 3%, as increased production from projects in west Africa, the United States and the North Sea, and lower maintenance activity more than offset natural field decline.
First quarter natural gas production was 10,195 mcfd (millions of cubic feet per day), down 34 mcfd from 2008. New production volumes from project additions in Qatar, the North Sea, and Malaysia were offset by natural field decline and lower European demand.
Earnings from U.S. Upstream operations were $360 million, $1,271 million lower than the first quarter of 2008. Non-U.S. Upstream earnings were $3,143 million, down $4,011 million from last year.
Downstream earnings of $1,133 million were down $33 million from the first quarter of 2008. Volume and mix effects reduced earnings about $400 million, while unfavorable foreign exchange impacts and higher operating expenses decreased earnings about $300 million. Higher margins increased earnings about $700 million. Petroleum product sales of 6,434 kbd were 387 kbd lower than last year's first quarter, mainly reflecting asset sales and lower demand.
U.S. Downstream earnings were $352 million, down $46 million from the first quarter of 2008. Non-U.S. Downstream earnings of $781 million were $13 million higher than last year.
Chemical earnings of $350 million were $678 million lower than the first quarter of 2008. Lower volumes and lower margins each reduced earnings approximately $300 million. Unfavorable foreign exchange effects also reduced earnings. First quarter prime product sales of 5,527 kt (thousands of metric tons) were 1,051 kt lower than the prior year due to lower demand.
Corporate and financing expenses of $436 million increased by $347 million due overall to net lower interest income.
During the first quarter of 2009, Exxon Mobil Corporation purchased 107 million shares of its common stock for the treasury at a gross cost of $7.9 billion. These purchases included $7.0 billion to reduce the number of shares outstanding, with the balance used to offset shares issued in conjunction with the company's benefit plans and programs. Shares outstanding were reduced from 4,976 million at the end of the fourth quarter to 4,880 million at the end of the first quarter. Share purchases to reduce shares outstanding are currently anticipated to equal $5.0 billion through the second quarter of 2009. Purchases may be made in both the open market and through negotiated transactions, and may be increased, decreased or discontinued at any time without prior notice.
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