Oil Giants Exxon, Chevron Disappoint Investors Even With Billions in Annual Profit

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., usually trendsetters in the oil industry, are woefully off the pace.After failing to fully benefit from the crude price rally and refining boom that swelled profits for niche competitors like ConocoPhillips and Valero Energy Corp., the biggest U.S. oil explorers missed Wall Street's profit and production estimates, spurring a stock selloff as wary investors hit the lifeboats.Exxon fell 15 cents short of fourth-quarter earnings estimates by analysts, while Chevron was 55 cents shy. Analysts were especially critical of the companies' fuel-making divisions, which presented lower-than-anticipated results despite fat gasoline and diesel margins around the world. Production from Exxon's and Chevron's oil wells also fell short of forecasts, limiting the drillers' capacity to capture resurgent crude prices.  Continue reading...

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