NEW YORK - ExxonMobil (IW 500/1) reported an 18% decline in quarterly profits Thursday due to weaker refining earnings, but results bested expectations as oil and gas output stabilized.
Exxon, the largest U.S. oil company, said third-quarter profits were $7.9 billion on revenues of $112.4 billion, down from $9.6 billion on revenues of $115.1 billion in the year-ago period.
Those results translated into earnings per share of $1.79, two cents above analyst estimates. Revenues bested expectations by about $5 billion.
Like other oil majors, such as Anglo-Dutch heavyweight Royal Dutch Shell (IW 1000/1), ExxonMobil was hit by weaker profit margins in the refining business.
Results for the segment nosedived to $592 million from $3.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.
However, ExxonMobil's oil and gas output registered a 1.5% increase thanks in part to project ramp-ups in Canada and Nigeria.
ExxonMobil has seen declines in production in recent quarters, dipping 1.9% in the second quarter and 3.5% in the prior quarter.
Results in the upstream division, which comprises exploration and production activities, rose $740 million to $6.7 billion.
"ExxonMobil's third quarter results reflect our continued progress across a diverse set of profitable growth opportunities, which positions us well to deliver shareholder value," said chief executive Rex Tillerson.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013