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ExxonMobil profits below estimate, stocks fall

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Higher oil prices drove increased profits for US oil giant ExxonMobil, but the earnings report Friday missed analyst expectations due to natural gas outages and refining downtime.

File: ExxonMobil staff

Net income jumped 18 percent in the second quarter to $4.0 billion compared to the same period a year earlier. That translated into 92 cents a share, well below the $1.27 expected by analysts.

Revenues rose 26.6 to $73.5 billion, the company announced.

The results follow jumps in profits for Royal Dutch Shell and Total reported Thursday and illustrate the bounce from oil prices. Crude mostly traded in a range of $65 to $75 a barrel during the quarter, up from the $45 to $50 range in the year-ago period.

But ExxonMobil reported another significant slide in oil and gas production, which dipped seven percent to 3.6 million barrels a day of oil-equivalent.

The company said natural gas output was especially weak, diving 10 percent, due in part to downtime in Qatar, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Downtime in refining also hit results, due mostly to an unusually high number of planned refining outages at various plants and some unplanned maintenance following incidents at facilities in the first quarter, the company said.

ExxonMobil shares slumped 4.0 percent to $80.84 in pre-market trading.

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