A view of the Exxon Mobil Refinery in Baytown, Texas.
Jessica Rinaldi | Reuters
Exxon Mobil returned to profitability during the first quarter, surpassing top and bottom line estimates for the period as the company recovers from the havoc wrought in the energy sector by the coronavirus pandemic.
The oil giant made $ 2.7 billion in that period. The company posted earnings per share of 65 cents excluding items on revenue of $ 59.15 billion. Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn 59 cents a share on $ 54.6 billion in revenue, according to Refinitiv estimates.
In the first quarter from a year earlier, the company lost $ 610 million as the effects of the coronavirus began to weigh. Last quarter, the company posted a loss of $ 20.1 billion, the fourth straight quarter of losses.
Shares of Exxon were stable in premarket trading on Friday.
“The strong first quarter results reflect the benefits of higher commodity prices and our focus on structural cost reductions, while prioritizing investments in assets with low supply costs,” said Darren Woods, Exxon’s chairman and CEO in a statement.
“Cash flow from operating activities during the quarter fully covered dividends and capital expenditures,” he added.
Exxon’s oil equivalent production increased 3% quarter over quarter to 3.8 million barrels per day. The company said the winter storm that ravaged the southern United States in Texas cost the company $ 600 million for its businesses.
Energy is the top-performing S&P 500 sectors this year, and shares of Exxon are up 43% for 2021 through Thursday’s close.
To counteract lower oil prices over the past year, the company has taken aggressive cost-cutting measures. During the recession, Exxon maintained its commitment to its dividend, which currently stands at 5.9%.
More recently, the company has faced pressure from shareholders to shake up the board of directors. As a result, the company has added three new board members, including noted activist investor and ESG advocate Jeffrey Ubben.
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