Despite falling gas prices, ExxonMobil and Chevron reported bumper profits last quarter. While they were lower than last year, they still beat Wall Street forecasts, as well as where they were ahead of the spike in energy prices that followed the invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.
ExxonMobil, America’s largest oil company, earned $11.6 billion, excluding special items, down 38% from the record quarterly profit of $18.7 billion it earned on that basis in the third quarter of last year. That’s still more than double the $5.5 billion it reported in the first quarter of 2022. It was also more than $1 billion better than the $10.5 billion forecast by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
Chevron reported it earned $6.7 billion, excluding special items, down 40% from its record earnings of $11.4 billion in the second quarter last year, but just ahead of the $6.5 billion it earned on that basis a year ago. It also topped forecasts of $6.4 billion.
Oil companies around the world reported a massive surge in profits last year, following the spike in prices that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the sanctions on Russian energy exports that followed. But US gas prices fell steadily after reaching a record of $5.02 a gallon in June.
The average US price today is $3.67 a gallon, up nearly 6% from a month ago when OPEC and other oil-producing nations allied with it agreed to cut production, but down 12% from where they were a year ago when prices were still rising.
Shares of ExxonMobil gained 1% and Chevron (CVX) shares were little changed in premarket trading on the reports.