Thursday, May 1, 2008

Exxon's first quarter earnings and the Rockefellers

Exxon Mobile reported today that its first-quarter profit climb 17 percent to $10.9 billion -- the second biggest U.S. quarterly corporate profit ever. The results nevertheless disappointed in part because of compressed refining and wholesale margins. Record crude prices and compressed prices on refined product cut into earnings on the refining and marketing side where earnings were off 39 percent from a year ago.

Overall production fell 5.6 percent from a year ago, in part from natural field declines and maintenance. Production fell 3% when excluding production losses from its operations in Venezuela, divestments, OPEC quota effects and price and spend impacts on volumes.

Capital and exploration expenditures for the three months ended March 31 rose 30% to $5.49 billion from $4.2 billion in the year-ago period.

There is criticism that the company spends too much money to repurchase shares instead of reinvesting it into new exploration or alternative energy. We have referred to this earlier, ExxonMobil's R&D spending is 'tiny'. In its latest annual report stated that R&D spending in the last five years was a meager $3.5 billion, in the same period Exxon made $160 billion in profits.

Trouble is also brewing in the upper echelons of Exxon's management. The Rockefeller family, who's great-great grandfather founded the company, speaks out about Exxon Mobile with Liz Claiborn of Fox Business. The family together with shareholders hopes to get the company on a different track and invest more in alternative energy in the future. Similar attempts in the past have failed on lack of shareholder support.

Peter O'Neill, Rockefeller Family CMTE spokesman:
"We think its very very important for Exxon Mobile to have an independent chair, especially in a time when energy markets are changing so much....Having an independent chair will give you the best probability that they be able to test assumptions."

click for video

video: Rockefeller Family on Exxon Mobil

source: Exxon Profit Rises Less Than Estimated on Output Drop

read also: ExxonMobil's R&D spending is 'tiny'

No comments: