By Sabrina Valle
HOUSTON – Exxon Mobil Corp’s fourth quarter profit should top Wall Street’s consensus and surpass its pre-pandemic levels, lifted by better-than-expected earnings from oil and gas, analysts said.
Credit Suisse, Scotiabank and JPMorgan have raised their fourth quarter earnings estimates following Exxon’s flagging of sharply higher oil and gas operating profit last week. Official results are due on Feb. 1.
The higher earnings outlooks lifted Exxon shares 3.8% on Monday to $63.51 on top of Friday’s less than 1% gain. The stock rose 48% last year but remains below where it traded two years ago.
In 2020, the largest U.S. oil producer suffered a historic $22.4 billion loss from falling oil prices and lower refining margins. Cost cuts and energy price hikes allowed it to pay down debt and plot a share buyback program this year.
An Exxon securities filing signaled quarterly results “above the midpoint” of prior guidance and “well above pre-pandemic levels,” Credit Suisse analyst Manav Gupta wrote in a note on Friday.
The company could earn $8.2 billion, or $1.93 per share, according to the mid-point average estimate of the three banks that have updated their estimates, excluding one-time items. That is above analysts’ adjusted profit of $1.79 per share as tallied by Refinitiv IBES.
Exxon also signaled mark-to-market gains of up to $1.1 billion for oil and gas and refined products. Proceeds from asset sales including its U.K. North Sea assets could deliver up to $500 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
(Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Editing by Marguerita Choy)