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Exxon starts lower as fourth quarter misses expectations

Exxon said it plans to invest US$50bn into US oil and gas assets over the next five years.
oil and gas operations
Exxon stock was down 4%

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) stock dropped around 4% on Friday’s open after fourth quarter earnings missed expectations.

Fourth quarter earnings amounted to 88 cents per share, which was some way short of the US$1.04 consensus forecasts from Wall Street analysts.

The oil major told investors that it estimated full year earnings of US$19.7bn or US$4.63 per share, an improvement from the US$7.8bn  reported in 2016. It tallied US$1.5bn of non-cash impairments, mainly tied to upstream assets, meanwhile, it included a US$5.9bn benefit related to US tax reform.

“The impact of tax reform on our earnings reflects the magnitude of our historic investment in the U.S. and strengthens our commitment to further grow our business here,” said Darren Woods, Exxon chief executive.

“We’re planning to invest over $50 billion in the U.S. over the next five years to increase production of profitable volumes and enhance our integrated portfolio, which is supported by the improved business climate created by tax reform.”

Exxon highlighted US$23bn of capital and exploration spending, up from US$19bn in the preceding year.

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