ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) - Get Report posted a narrower-than-expected third quarter loss Friday, following a similar report from rival Chevron Corp. (CVX) - Get Report, as the biggest U.S. oil companies continue to focus on cost cuts amid a plunge in global oil prices.
Exxon said its adjusted loss for the three months ending in September was pegged at 18 cents per share, firmly inside the Street consensus forecast of 25 cents per share. Exxon's reported loss was 15 cents per shre, or $680 million.
Group revenues, Exxon said, fell 29% to $46.2 billion, a figure that also topped analysts' estimates of a $43.7 billion tally.
West Texas Intermediate crude prices traded in a range of between $38.70 and $39.70 per barrel over the three months ending in September, a sharp 30% decline from the trading range over the third quarter of last year.
“We remain confident in our long-term strategy and the fundamentals of our business, and are taking the necessary actions to preserve value while protecting the balance sheet and dividend,” said CEO Darren Woods. “We are on pace to achieve our 2020 cost-reduction targets and are progressing additional savings next year as we manage through this unprecedented down cycle.”
Exxon shares were marked 2.12% lower in late morning trading following the earnings release to change hands at $32.24 each.
Exxon said its third quarter capital expenditures fell 46.5% to $4.13 billion, and expected its 2021 capital program to be in the range of $16 billion to $19 billion, compared to its 2020 forecast, which was cut by 15% in April, of around $23 billion.
Exxon said Thursday that it will cut some 1,900 jobs at home, while reducing its global headcount by around 15% over the next two years, arguing the impact of COVID-19, which has slashed energy demand in key economies around the world, has increased the need for urgent changes in the company's efficiency.
CEO Darren Woods warned employees of impending job cuts last week, saying in an internal memo that 'tough decisions" need to be made, "some of which will result in friends and colleagues leaving the company."