(Correct second paragraph to read first nine months, not first
* EPS $1.79 v Street view $1.77
* Output up 1.5 percent, first gain since 2011 2nd qtr
* Shares edge up
By Anna Driver
Oct 31 Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's
largest publicly traded oil company, reported
higher-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday as output
rose for the first time in more than two years, but refining
weakness hurt earnings.
Exxon and other large oil companies struggling to boost
production in recent years have spent heavily on new projects.
In the first nine months of this year, Exxon alone spent $33
"This is their first year-over-year (production) increase in
more than two years," said Brian Youngberg, an energy company
analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis. "It does show that they
are hopefully making some progress stemming the decline that
they've shown the last couple of years."
Exxon last reported a quarterly gain in production in the
second quarter of 2011.
Oil and natural gas output rose 1.5 percent from a year
earlier to 4 million barrels oil equivalent per day, helped by
the start-up of new projects, the Irving, Texas, company said.
Natural gas from Australia's Kipper Tuna Turrum project and
accelerated output from projects in Nigeria and Canada also
contributed to the higher production.
Profit in the third quarter was $7.87 billion, or $1.79 per
share, compared with $9.57 billion, or $2.09 per share, a year
Analysts on average had expected $1.77 per share, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Weaker margins, mainly in refining, decreased earnings by
$2.4 billion," Exxon said in a statement.
Oil companies with refining units, such as Exxon and Royal
Dutch Shell, have seen profit hurt in the quarter as
demand for fuels like gasoline and diesel waned and global
refining capacity grew.
Exxon's refining unit had a profit of $592 million in the
latest quarter, down sharply from $3.2 billion a year earlier.
The company's shares rose in premarket trading to $89, up
slightly from Wednesday's New York Stock Exchange close of
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and