Big Oil Is Back: Exxon Outperforms Amid Crude Resurgence

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. easily swept aside analyst estimates as the battered giants of the U.S. oil industry shook off two-and-a-half years of low oil prices and reported surging profits in the first quarter. Irving-based Exxon, the world's biggest oil producer by market value, earned 95 cents a share, outperforming all but one of the 19 analysts' estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Chevron, the second-largest U.S. driller, swung to a profit in a big way, scoring its largest quarterly gain since 2014 and a per-share result that was 64 percent higher than the average estimate. As charter members of the elite supermajor clique that also includes Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Total SA, Exxon and Chevron are among the biggest beneficiaries of the 55 percent escalation in crude prices from the same period in 2016. Total reported a 56 percent profit increase on April 26 and if the trend holds, Shell and BP would post impressive results next week. "It's cutting costs, it's getting more for every dollar you spend, it's getting more from each well and getting it out faster," said Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in St. Louis. "It just shows how these companies have had to adapt to a new environment."   Continue reading...

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