Exxon Mobil profits drop in 2015, continuing the trend of poor results

Exxon Mobil’s quarterly profits drop 58%, continuing the trend of poor results from the oil sector. Low oil prices hurt results at the world’s largest traded oil company.

exxon mobil profitsExxon Mobil Corporation today announced estimated 2015 earnings of $16.2 billion compared with $32.5 billion a year earlier. Higher Downstream and Chemical earnings were offset by sharply lower commodity prices in the Upstream.

“While our financial results reflect the challenging environment, we remain focused on the business fundamentals, including project execution and effective cost management,” said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer. “The scale and diversity of our cash flows, along with our financial strength, provide us with the confidence to invest through the cycle to create long-term shareholder value.”

ExxonMobil completed six major Upstream projects during the year and achieved its full-year plan to produce 4.1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day. These new developments in Canada, Indonesia, Norway, the United States and West Africa added 300,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day of working interest production capacity.

Fourth quarter earnings were $2.8 billion, or $0.67 per diluted share, down from $6.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014. Lower commodity prices in the Upstream were partly offset by higher Downstream earnings.

Crude oil prices have dropped about 70% from the 2014 high of more than $100 a barrel.

During 2015, the corporation distributed $15.1 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.