Exxon profits plunge nearly 60 percent; lowest since 1999

Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil company, said Friday that its second quarter profit plunged nearly 60 percent from a year earlier, squeezed by what the company called “sharply lower” oil prices and weaker refining margins.

Exxon, headquartered in Irving, said its profit for the three months ending in June fell to $1.7 billion, or 41 cents a share, the lowest since the first quarter of 1999, before the Mobil Corp. acquisition. Revenues fell by more than 20 percent, to $57.7 billion from $74.1 billion from the second quarter of 2015.

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Exxon, which has a major campus in The Woodlands, cut its capital and exploration spending by almost 40 percent, to $5.2 billion from $8.3 billion last year.

In the first six months of the year, profits were down more than 60 percent,to $3.5 billion from $9.1 billion during the same period a year earlier. Revenues for the first half of the year are down 25 percent, to $106.4 billion from $141.7 billion in 2015.

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Rex W. Tillerson, Exxon’s chief executive, noted that while profits are down, Exxon is holding up better than many energy firms in a  “volatile industry environment.”

“The corporation benefits from scale and integration,” he said in a statement, “which provide the financial flexibility to invest in attractive opportunities and grow long-term shareholder value.”

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