EXXON: PROFIT HIGHER
Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, posted a quarterly profit on Thursday that hands down beat Wall Street's expectations as a bitterly cold winter throughout much of the United States boosted natural gas prices.
The past winter, which affected much of the U.S. in January and February, pushed Exxon Mobil's average U.S. natural gas sale price up 49 percent, helping offset a dip in global production.
Prices for natural gas rose globally as well, even as the price the company receives for its crude oil slipped both in the U.S. and internationally.
Exxon Mobil reported first-quarter net income of $9.10 billion, or $2.10 per share, compared with $9.50 billion, or $2.12 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
The results surpassed analysts' expectation for profit of $1.88 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total production fell about 6 percent to 4.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed).
Exxon reported weakening margins in both its chemicals and refining units. Part of the dip was due to a cut in production at its 560,500 barrel per day Baytown, Texas refinery after an oil barge spill caused the closure of the Houston Ship Channel in March.
The company made no mention Thursday of Russia's involvement in Ukraine.
Exxon Mobil is building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Rosneft, Russia's state-controlled oil giant, on Russia's eastern coast. The plant, which Exxon executives have repeatedly said will not be deterred by the Ukrainian political situation, is expected to be online by 2019.
On Wednesday the company raised its quarterly dividend by 10 percent.
Shares of Exxon rose 0.6 percent to $102.98 in premarket trading on Thursday.
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U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.
GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.
REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.