Houston, TX, United States (4E) – Exxon Mobil Corp. said its profit in the third quarter dropped 18 percent due to falling profits at its downstream segment as refining margins sharply narrowed, overshadowing the company’s strong performance at its exploration and production division.
Profit was $7.87bn, or $1.79 per share, compared with $9.57bn, or $2.09 per share in the previous year, according to the Exxon’s data released Thursday. Revenue increased 2.4 percent to $112.37bn.
After Exxon acquired XTO Energy Inc. in 2010 for $25bn, the company became the biggest producer of natural gas in the U.S. Since then, Exxon has struck other deals to expand its shale-gas assets.
Over the past year, Exxon’s output has been mostly lower. The sector also faces a challenge from a boom in the North American shale drilling that has resulted to fluctuations in oil and natural-gas prices.
Weaker margins, largely linked to refining, contributed for a $2.4bn fall in the company’s refining and marketing profit, which fell 81 percent to $592mn.
Operating earnings in the exploration and production business jumped 12 percent to $6.71bn. On an oil-equivalent basis, production rose 1.5 percent.
In the latest quarter, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company spent $3bn to buy back its stock aimed to reduce the number of shares outstanding.