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ExxonMobil Posts Mixed Earnings Due To Lower Natural Gas Prices

Oil major ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) has announced mixed first-quarter financial results as it grapples with weaker prices for natural gas.

The company reported earnings per share of $2.06 U.S. versus $2.20 U.S. that was expected by analysts who track the company’s progress. Profits were down 12% from a year ago.

Revenue in Q1 totaled $83.08 billion U.S. compared to $78.35 billion U.S. that was forecast.

Exxon, which is the biggest oil company in America, said its Q1 results were hurt by lower refining margins and natural gas prices that have plummeted from last year’s highs.

Natural gas prices have declined 37% this year due largely to warmer winter weather. At the same time, refining margins are lower than they were a year ago.

It was a similar story at rival Chevron (CVX), which also reported Q1 financial results today (April 26).

ExxonMobil said that it produced 3.78 million barrels per day of crude oil in the quarter, down slightly from output of 3.83 million barrels per day a year earlier.

Exxon’s fuel business saw its earnings drop 67% to $1.38 billion U.S. in Q1.

The plunge in the fuel business was partly offset by the chemical products segment that saw its profits more than double to $785 million U.S. from a year earlier.

ExxonMobil’s stock has increased 5% over the last 12 months to trade at $121.33 U.S. per share.