ExxonMobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report, the world's largest energy company, reported third quarter earnings of $2.7 billion, or 63 cents per share, Friday, Oct. 28, beating analysts expectations.
A consensus of analysts surveyed by FactSet had Exxon earmarked for a 58 cents per share profit on $60.4 billion in revenues, up from its second quarter earnings of 41 cents per share on $57.7 billion in sales.
Exxon's beat turns the story around for the integrated oil behemoth after its second quarter earnings came in well below analysts' expectations of 64 cents per share.
But the company's upstream segment still lags well behind some analysts' expectations, earning $620 million in the third quarter.
JPMorgan analysts Phil Gresh and John Royall anticipated $1.18 billion Exxon upstream segment net income for the period.
But as the company follower's anticipated, Exxon's international upstream operations held up the segment, albeit slightly less than expected, pulling in $1.1 billion, versus a loss of $477 million in the U.S.
Overall, Exxon's upstream unit showed improvement from the $294 million in net income it posted in the second second quarter due to one-time factors, including violent protests in Nigeria and wildfires in Canada's oilsands.
Unfortunately, some of those factors stretched into the third quarter for Exxon, as production volumes fell 3 percent from this time a year ago to 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, primarily due to unplanned downtime in Nigeria.
The company's chemicals unit also failed to meet JPMorgan's expectations, reporting net income of $1.2 billion, versus the firm's expectations of $1.3 billion in earnings. Exxon cited higher maintenance costs, partially offset by increased specialty product sales, for the slight miss.
In the end it was the company's downstream segment that will surprise analysts and prop up third quarter earnings, as Exxon reported $1.2 billion in downstream net income, despite weaker refining margins.
JPMorgan analysts, who anticipated earnings to come in above the Street's expectations at 65 cents per share, had called for just $790 million to come in from the downstream unit.
Exxon also trimmed some fat during the quarter, cutting capital and exploration expenses by $4.2 billion, while distributing $3.1 billion, or 75 cents per share, in dividends to shareholders during the period.
Meanwhile, company followers are anticipating adjusted earnings of 40 cents per share on sales of $29.1 billion for Exxon's San Ramon, Calif-based competitor, Chevron (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report, which reports later this morning.
Heading into Friday, Chevron was expected by analysts to have the steepest earnings decline year-over-year among integrated oil majors, Oppenheimer energy strategist Fadel Gheit wrote earlier this week.
BP (BP) - Get BP Plc Report and Exxon were expected to come in on its heels, Gheit said, while analysts thought Royal Dutch Shell undefined and France's Total (TOT) - Get Total SA Report would post lower declines.
Shell and BP report earnings Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. EDT, respectively. Total reported earnings of 84 cents per share early Friday.
The group on a whole is expected to report third quarter earnings that are 26% below results from the third quarter in 2015.
Nevertheless, a consensus of analysts expect integrated oil majors to be up 29% on average quarter-over-quarter, with Shell and Exxon showing the highest earnings increase, followed by Chevron and BP, Gheit wrote.