Big gains at Exxon, Shell
The oil companies have seen profits spike as crude oil and natural gas prices have increased.
First, crude oil prices have climbed 13% in the past year, while natural gas has risen 23%. Second, Exxon has been on a furious pace to increase production and saw its oil and gas output rise 20% in the past year.
Put those two together, and you get massive profits for Exxon, which beat expectations with a 55% earnings increase in the third quarter. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) also cruised on higher prices to a 6.5% profit increase.
Shares of both companies rose more than 1% Thursday in morning trading.
Exxon's gains were helped along by its large natural-gas projects in Qatar and its $27 billion acquisition of natural-gas company XTO Energy, Reuters reports.
But revenue slightly missed expectations, with a 16% increase to $95.3 billion. Analysts were expecting $98.12 billion. Post continues after video:
The company's exploration and production unit saw a 36% increase in profit to $5.47 billion, while the refining unit more than tripled its profit to $1.16 billion.
"Exxon already was producing more oil and gas than any of the other public companies, so for them to increase output and by such a large margin is a good thing," the manager of one fund that owns Exxon shares told Bloomberg. "This probably took a lot of people by surprise."
Exxon spends almost $77 million a day to increase production, Bloomberg reported. It's looking at new wells in Canada, California and Texas.
The company bought back $3.3 billion of its own shares in the quarter and intends to repurchase $5 billion more shares by year's end.
Shell said its net profit rose by 6.5% to $3.5 billion, while revenue increased 21% to $90.7 billion. Its oil and gas output was up 5% from a year ago.
The profit picture was a bit convoluted, however, because Shell took net charges of $1.41 billion for a number of items, including a drop in value of some refining operations and some Canadian operations.
Without those one-off items, profit would have risen 88% to $4.93 billion, the company said. That beat the $4.32 billion that analysts were looking for.
according to The Associated Press. "It is still early days, though, as the full impact will not be felt until 2013."
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Tuesday session on a lower note after generally upbeat earnings took the back seat to geopolitical concerns. The S&P 500 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) ended on their lows, while the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) displayed relative strength.
Once again, market participants were focused on quarterly reports in the early going, but geopolitical worries overshadowed the impact of mostly better than expected earnings. Specifically, equities ... More
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