ExxonMobil Estimates 3Q Earnings at $4.7B


Rex W. Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil
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ExxonMobil's Chairman, Rex W. Tillerson, commented, "Despite ongoing global economic weakness and reduced demand for products, we continued our robust investment program and delivered strong results.

"Our third quarter earnings, excluding special items, were $4.7 billion. While continuing to be impacted by lower commodity prices and weak product margins, we maintained our focus on operational excellence and invested $19 billion through the first three quarters of the year to develop new energy supplies.

"Oil-equivalent production increased by 3% over the third quarter of 2008 with contributions from major start-ups of world-class assets including Qatargas 2, Train 5 and Ras Laffan 3, Train 6 in Qatar.

"We are well-positioned for continued production growth with projects such as QatarGas, RasGas and Gorgon LNG which will contribute additional long plateau production for decades and provide ExxonMobil with a strong foundation.

"ExxonMobil's industry leading financial strength has allowed us to continue to invest across the economic cycle focusing on world class opportunities.

"Our commitment to a disciplined and long term focused investment strategy sets ExxonMobil apart from its competitors.

"In addition to funding our capital and operating programs, we distributed $2.0 billion in dividends and purchased $4.0 billion of ExxonMobil common stock to reduce shares outstanding during the third quarter."

THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earnings excluding special items were $4,730 million, a decrease of 65% or $8,650 million from the third quarter of 2008.
  • Earnings per share excluding special items were $0.98, a decrease of 62%.
  • Earnings were down 68% from the third quarter of 2008 which included a special gain of $1,620 million from the sale of a natural gas transportation business in Germany and a special charge of $170 million related to the Valdez punitive damages award. Earnings for the third quarter of 2009 did not include any special items.
  • Capital and exploration expenditures were $6.5 billion, down 5% from the third quarter of 2008, reflecting the impacts of a stronger U.S. dollar.
  • Oil-equivalent production increased nearly 3% from the third quarter of 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was up about 5%.
  • Cash flow from operations and asset sales was approximately $9.0 billion, including asset sales of $0.2 billion.
  • Share purchases of $4.0 billion reduced shares outstanding by 1.2%.
  • Two major liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Qatar -- Qatargas 2, Train 5 and Ras Laffan 3, Train 6 -- commenced production. With annual production capacity of 7.8 million tons each, both trains join Qatargas 2, Train 4 as the largest operating LNG production facilities in the world.
  • Participants in the Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project approved a development plan that will include three LNG processing trains with a capacity of 5 million tons per year each. The development decision followed execution of LNG sales and purchase agreements with PetroChina International Company Limited and Petronet LNG Limited of India for ExxonMobil's equity share of LNG in the project.
  • Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited announced the startup of new chemical units -- including an ethylene steam cracker, a polyethylene unit, a polypropylene unit and aromatics facilities -- in its new fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Fujian Province, China.
  • ExxonMobil announced an alliance with leading biotech company, Synthetic Genomics Inc., to research and develop next generation biofuels from photosynthetic algae. If research and development milestones are met, ExxonMobil expects to spend more than $600 million under the program.

Third Quarter 2009 vs. Third Quarter 2008

Upstream earnings, excluding special items, were $4,012 million down $5,339 million from the third quarter of 2008. Lower crude oil and natural gas realizations accounted for the majority of the decline, reducing earnings approximately $4.9 billion while higher operating costs reduced earnings approximately $300 million.

On an oil-equivalent basis, production increased nearly 3% from the third quarter of 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was up about 5%.

Liquids production totaled 2,335 kbd (thousands of barrels per day), up 45 kbd from the third quarter of 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, liquids production was up over 5%, as increased production from projects in the United States and Kazakhstan was partly offset by field decline.

Third quarter natural gas production was 8,129 mcfd (millions of cubic feet per day), up 309 mcfd from 2008. New production volumes from project additions in Qatar and the United States were partly offset by maintenance in Europe.

Earnings from U.S. Upstream operations were $709 million, $1,170 million lower than the third quarter of 2008. Non-U.S. Upstream earnings, excluding special items, were $3,303 million, down $4,169 million from last year.

Downstream earnings of $325 million were down $2,688 million from the third quarter of 2008. Lower refining margins drove the decline, reducing earnings $2.6 billion. Petroleum product sales of 6,301 kbd were 387 kbd lower than last year's third quarter, mainly reflecting asset sales and lower demand.

The U.S. Downstream recorded a loss of $203 million, down $1,181 million from the third quarter of 2008. Non-U.S. Downstream earnings of $528 million were $1,507 million lower than last year.

Chemical earnings of $876 million were $211 million lower than the third quarter of 2008. Weaker margins drove the decline, reducing earnings $170 million. Third quarter prime product sales of 6,356 kt (thousands of metric tons) were 296 kt higher than the prior year primarily due to the absence of last year’s hurricane impacts.

Corporate and financing expenses excluding special items were $483 million, up $412 million due mainly to lower interest income.

During the third quarter of 2009, Exxon Mobil Corporation purchased 61 million shares of its common stock for the treasury at a gross cost of $4.2 billion. These purchases included $4.0 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 4,806 million at the end of the second quarter to 4,747 million at the end of the third quarter. Share purchases to reduce shares outstanding are currently anticipated to equal $2.0 billion in the fourth 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.

First Nine Months 2009 vs. First Nine Months 2008

Earnings of $13,230 million ($2.71 per share) decreased $24,170 million from 2008. Excluding special items, earnings for the first nine months of 2009 were $13,370 million, a decrease of $22,870 million from 2008.

FIRST NINE MONTHS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earnings excluding special items were $13,370 million, down 63%.
  • Earnings per share excluding special items decreased 60% to $2.74, reflecting lower earnings and the continued reduction in the number of shares outstanding.
  • Earnings were down 65% from 2008. Earnings for 2009 included a special charge of $140 million for interest related to the Valdez punitive damages award. Earnings for 2008 included a special gain of $1,620 million from the sale of a natural gas transportation business in Germany and special charges of $460 million related to the Valdez punitive damages award.
  • Oil equivalent production remained essentially flat with the same period in 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was up 1%.
  • Cash flow from operations and asset sales was approximately $21.0 billion, including $1.1 billion from asset sales.
  • The Corporation distributed a total of $22.0 billion to shareholders in the first nine months of 2009 through dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.
  • Dividends per share of $1.24 increased 8%.
  • Capital and exploration expenditures were $18.8 billion, down 3% versus 2008 due to the stronger U.S. dollar.

Upstream earnings, excluding special items, were $11,327 million, down $16,821 million from 2008. Lower crude oil and natural gas realizations decreased earnings approximately $15.8 billion while higher operating costs reduced earnings about $1.0 billion.

On an oil-equivalent basis, production was essentially flat compared to the same period in 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was up 1%.

Liquids production of 2,385 kbd remained flat with 2008. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, liquids production was up over 2%, as new volumes from project additions in west Africa and the United States, and lower maintenance activity, were partly offset by field decline.

Natural gas production of 8,778 mcfd decreased 64 mcfd from 2008. Higher volumes from Qatar were more than offset by field decline.

Earnings from U.S. Upstream operations for 2009 were $1,882 million, a decrease of $3,662 million. Earnings outside the U.S. excluding special items were $9,445 million, down $13,159 million.

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