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Earnings from one-time asset sales boost Exxon's bottom line.
Exxon Mobil reported the highest quarterly profit ever seen by a U.S. Corporation Thursday. Exxon’s $16 billion profit beat the previous quarterly record of $14.83 set by, well, Exxon.
CNN Money is reporting that Exxon's profit margin was over 12 percent on revenues of $127.4 billion.
Investors are not celebrating this achievement, however. A large piece of this quarter’s profits, $7.5 billion, came from the sale of a refining and chemical operations plant in Japan. Without that one-time gain, Exxon’s profits would fall to $8.4 billion, below analyst expectations, reports The New York Times.
Slowing demand for oil in the world’s largest economies and and a drop in U.S. natural-gas prices dimmed the profit potential for the world’s biggest oil company.
“It was another sub-par quarter for Exxon,” Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones, who has a hold rating on Exxon’s shares, told Bloomberg. “They are struggling to grow production and commodity prices are working against them.”
Forbes reports that this quarter’s figure is actually down 17.4 percent from a year ago, a far reach from the 56 percent headline increase that includes the one-time asset sales.
The company tried to calm investors by noting it spent $9.3 billion on research and development exploring new oil and gas options. Exxon also highlighted a deal it signed with Russian oil firm Rosneft last year to develop shale oil deposits in Western Siberia.