), the largest publicly traded oil and gas company, became the latest member of the Fortune 500 to post disappointing quarterly results.
Net income at the Irving, Tex., company surged 49% to $15.9 billion, or $3.41 per share, as gains from a divestiture and tax benefits offset falling energy prices. Revenue jumped to $127.36 billion, helped by gains in its downstream business. Excluding a one-time gain, profit was $8.4 billion, or $1.80 a share. But Wall Street analysts expected the company to post earnings of $1.95. Revenue for the quarter was $127.4 billion, topping analysts' expectations of $115.08 billion.
Upstream earnings fell to $8.36 billion as oil and natural gas production declined. A gain from the sale of Exxon's stake in a Japanese refining venture pushed up downstream earnings to $6.65 billion. Chemical earnings rose to $1.45 billion as the gain from the Japanese investment offset weaker profit margins.
Capital and exploration spending fell 9% to $9.3 billion while oil equivalent production fell 5.6%. Earnings outside the U.S. rose to $7.68 billion, while domestic profit fell to $678 million. Under CEO Rex Tillerson,
Exxon Mobil plans to spend $37 billion to add the equivalent of 1 million in new production by 2016. Oil prices have fallen this year as supplies have increased but demand has slackened due to the faltering economic recovery. Surging supplies have also pushed down prices for natural gas.
The pain is being felt around the oil patch. Royal Dutch Shell
) also posted disappointing results Thursday.
The outlook for these companies is cloudy at best. As China's economy slows and Europe's economy remains sluggish, so will demand for energy. Oil prices in the U.S. fell 88 cents Thursday to $88.12.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed companies. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.