The Global Oil Glut Has Slashed Exxon’s Profits in Half

An Exxon Mobil Corp. Gas Station Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Exxon Mobil Corp. signage is displayed on a fuel pump at a gas station in Richmond, Kentucky, U.S., on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Exxon Mobil Corp. is scheduled to release earnings data on April 30. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Getty Images

Exxon Mobil (XOM) on Tuesday reported a 58% drop in quarterly profit and said it would cut spending this year by one-quarter as the world’s largest publicly traded oil company copes with a prolonged downturn in crude prices.

Crude oil prices have dropped about 70% from the 2014 high over $100 barrel. Current prices at around $30 barrel have triggered a wave of spending cuts as oil companies slash investment in new wells and projects to conserve cash.

Exxon sees capital spending at around $23.2 billion this year, a decrease of 25% from 2015.

“While our financial results reflect the challenging environment, we remain focused on the business fundamentals, including project execution and effective cost management,” Rex Tillerson, the chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

The Irving, Texas company reported that fourth-quarter profit slid to $2.78 billion, or 67 cents per share, from $6.57 billion, or $1.56 per share, in the same period a year earlier.


Analysts, on average, expected Exxon to earn 63 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Exxon said its oil and gas output rose 4.8% in the fourth quarter as it pumped more crude oil.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.