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ExxonMobil Tops Q4 Earnings Forecast, Creates Low Carbon Business With $3 Billion Investment

Exxon said its new 'Low Carbon' business will "advance plans for more than 20 new carbon capture and sequestration opportunities around the world to enable large-scale emission reductions."

ExxonMobil Corp  (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report posted  a better-than-expected fourth quarter profit Tuesday and unveiled a new business that will centralize its low carbon technologies as it transitions towards cleaner energy alternatives. 

Exxon said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December were pegged at 3 cents per share, a significant swing from last year's 41 cent per share profit but 2 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. the group's headline loss was $4.70 per share, or $20.1 billion. 

Group revenues, Exxon said, fell 30.8% to $46.5 billion and missed analysts' estimates of $48.76 billion.

“The past year presented the most challenging market conditions ExxonMobil has ever experienced,” said CEO Darren Woods. “While the effects of the pandemic significantly impacted our 2020 results, our previously executed strategic initiatives and reorganizations enabled us to respond decisively to permanently improve our cost structure, drive greater efficiencies across our businesses, and emerge a stronger company. These improvements are expected to deliver structural expense savings of $6 billion per year by 2023, relative to 2019.”

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“We remain focused on increasing long-term value for our shareholders by investing in our highest-return assets, preserving the strength of the balance sheet, and paying a reliable dividend," he added. "We’ve built a flexible capital program that is robust to a range of market scenarios and focused on our highest-return opportunities to drive greater cash flow, cover the dividend, and increase the earnings potential of our business in the near and longer term.”

Exxon shares were marked 2% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $45.78, a move that would give the stock an 8% gain over the past six months.

Exxon also announced the creation of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, and said it would invest $3 billion into the group by 2025 as it aims to reduce greenhouse gas by as much as 20% from their 2016 levels.

Last week, Exxon's larger rival, Chevron Corp.  (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report posted a surprise fourth quarter loss as costs linked to its acquisition of Noble Energy, as well as revenues plunged amid coronavirus-triggered shutdowns for factories around the world.