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Exxon signals second quarterly loss in a row on production, refining hits

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp's XOM.N oil and gas producing and refining businesses will report operating losses in the second quarter, it said in a regulatory filing on Thursday, setting the stage for the company to post another quarterly loss this year.

Oil prices are down 35% since January as the COVID-19 pandemic slashed demand and a global glut forced widespread production cuts. Rivals Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L and BP Plc BP.L have disclosed massive spending cuts and writedowns due to the price drop.

Exxon faces a loss for the quarter of $2.3 billion, or 57 cents per share, according to estimates from Refinitiv IBES. It would be the second this year after a $610 million first-quarter deficit. Results are due out July 31.

(For a graphic on results by quarter, click here: tmsnrt.rs/3gdqWI9)

The filing did not refer to asset writedowns. However, in a change from prior quarterly updates, Exxon noted the list may not include all charges. Shell outlined an up to $22 billion charge and BP an up to $17.5 billion writedown on the oil demand and price drops.

Exxon’s oil and gas operations will swing to a loss compared with the first quarter because of sharply lower prices. That drop reduced the unit’s operating profit by between $2.5 billion and $3.1 billion, the company said in its investor snapshot of operations.

Refining results will fall by between $800 million and $1.l billion compared with the first quarter on weaker margins and logistics differentials, it said.

The second quarter for all companies will be “dismal” due to oil and gas prices, refining margins and production, said Jennifer Rowland, analyst with Edward Jones.

Exxon last quarter cut output by up to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) and capital spending by 30%, much of it in its shale business.

Shares have fallen about 38% this year. They were up 47 cents at $44.18 in premarket trading on Thursday.

Reporting by Jennifer Hiller in Houston and Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Jonathan Oatis

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