Exxon profit nearly doubles, but falls short of expectations

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, said on Friday its quarterly profit nearly doubled on surging margins at its operations outside the United States, but results fell shy of Wall Street's expectations.

FILE PHOTO: An airplane comes in for a landing above an Exxon sign at a gas station in the Chicago suburb of Norridge, Illinois, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

Shares of Irving, Texas-based Exxon fell about 1.9 percent in premarket trading to $79.30.

While Exxon’s U.S. portfolio, including its shale projects, lost money, Exxon’s gas and oil operations across the world posted a 69 percent jump in profit.

The company sold more gasoline and kerosene in the quarter, boosting the bottom line as well, but sales of chemicals slipped due in part to plant maintenance costs and weak margins.

“Our job is to grow long-term value by investing in our integrated portfolio of opportunities that succeed regardless of market conditions,” Chief Executive Darren Woods said in a statement.

The company posted second-quarter net income of $3.35 billion, or 78 cents per share, compared to $1.7 billion, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of 84 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Production fell about 1.0 percent to 3.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The results come as Exxon battles its shareholders and others over climate change issues.

Exxon has been locked in an aggressive back-and-forth skirmish over climate change documents with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has sought to punish the oil producer for what he says are misleading public disclosures.

Exxon’s shareholders in May approved a resolution in May that called for the company to issue a report on how climate change affects operations. The vote, which was non-binding, passed with 62 percent of ballots cast and was a rare defeat for Exxon’s management.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Bernadette Baum