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An oil refinery is seen in this file photograph. Picture: REUTERS
An oil refinery is seen in this file photograph. Picture: REUTERS

ExxonMobil doubled its first-quarter per-share profit, it said on Friday, but the results fell short of Wall Street estimates, even excluding a $3.4bn (R53.7bn) writedown from its withdrawal from Russia.

The top US oil producer tripled its buyback programme, saying it will repurchase up to $30bn (R473bn) in shares by the end of next year.

Exxon reported net income of $5.48bn (R86.5bn) , or $1.28 per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with $2.73bn (R43bn), or 64 cents per share, last year.

The company’s adjusted earnings per share came to $2.07, short of the Refinitiv consensus for $2.12 a share, while revenue came in at $90.5bn (R1.4-trillion), below the $92.7bn (R1.46-trillion) consensus.

The results included a $3.4bn after-tax hit on the oil major’s Russia Sakhalin-1 operation, which it said it would exit on March 1, shortly after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Exxon’s writedown follows other oil majors exiting Russia after the Ukraine invasion. BP and Shell have flagged up to $25bn (R394.6bn) and $5bn (R79bn) in writedowns from leaving their Russian businesses, respectively.

Exxon has been trying to boost output in its primary development areas, the US Permian basin, and in Guyana, the tiny South American nation that has seen windfall oil discoveries in recent years and where Exxon has two major offshore developments.

Notably, the company’s refining division posted much weaker results from the previous quarter, with earnings of $332m (R5.2bn) , compared with $1.5bn (R23.7bn) in the fourth quarter. The company said the sharp rise in prices ended up costing $1.3bn (R20.5bn) of “negative timing impacts,” including $760m (R12bn) in mark-to-market effects on open derivatives positions.

The company said those losses will be unwound when it makes certain physical sales.

Exxon's output of crude and other liquids including bitumen and synthetic oil was 2.3-million barrels per day, a 5% drop from the previous quarter. Natural gas production fell by 1.5%.

Exxon’s shares were down 1.1% to $86.25 in premarket trading.

Reuters

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