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Exxon Mobil’s first-quarter profit rises, even after $3.4 billion hit from Russia charge

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A view of the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, May 15, 2021.
Kathleen Flynn | Reuters

Shares of Exxon Mobil slid on Friday after the company took a $3.4 billion after-tax charge related to its Sakhalin-1 operation in Russia.

Exxon earned $5.5 billion during the first quarter, up from $2.7 billion in the same period during 2021. However, results were down from the $8.87 billion earned during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Revenue came in at $90.5 billion during the latest period. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the company to generate $92.73 billion in revenue. During the same quarter in 2021, Exxon’s revenue was $59.1 billion.

“Earnings increased modestly, as strong margin improvement and underlying growth was offset by weather and timing impacts,” CEO Darren Woods said in a statement. “The absence of these temporary impacts in March provides strong, positive momentum for the second quarter.”

Exxon’s results come amid a surge in oil and gas prices. Crude jumped to its highest level since 2008 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which prompted supply fears. U.S. oil traded as high as $130.50 per barrel. Prices have seen retreated, but remain above $100 per barrel, boosting energy companies’ operations.

Exxon’s first quarter capital and exploration expenses totaled $4.9 billion during the period, with oil-equivalent production falling 4% quarter over quarter to 3.7 million barrels per day.

“First-quarter cash increased by $4.3 billion compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, as strong cash flow from operations more than funded capital investment, additional debt reduction, and shareholder distributions in the quarter. Free cash flow in the quarter was approximately $11 billion,” the company said in a statement.

Exxon bought back $2.1 billion worth of stock during the period, and said it will increase its share repurchase program. The oil giant now expects to buy back $30 billion through 2023.

Shares of Exxon slid 2% during premarket trading.

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