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HOUSTON -- ExxonMobil continued to deliver strong financial and operating results in its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 2010, as profit hit $9.25 billion, an increase of 53 percent.
Full-year 2010 earnings, excluding special items, were $30.5 billion, up 57 percent from 2009, driven by higher crude oil and natural gas realizations, stronger refining margins and record chemical performance, the company reported.
“The corporation returned over $19 billion to shareholders in 2010 through dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding,” Chairman Rex Tillerson noted in a statement.
Quarterly downstream earnings of $1.150 billion were up $1.339 billion from 2009, driven by higher industry refining margins, which increased earnings by $1.3 billion. Earnings from the U.S. downstream were $226 million, up $513 million from the fourth quarter of 2009. Non-U.S. downstream earnings of $924 million were $826 million higher than last year.
For the quarter, upstream earnings were $7.48 billion, up $1.7 billion from a year ago. Fourth-quarter earnings from U.S. upstream operations were $1.317 billion, $306 million higher than a year ago. Non-U.S. upstream earnings were $6.163 billion, up $1.394 billion a year ago.
Fourth-quarter capital and exploration expenditures were $10.1 billion, up 22 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009. Oil-equivalent production increased 19 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was up 18 percent.
Cash flow from operations and asset sales in the quarter was $14.7 billion, including asset sales of $1.7 billion. Share purchases to reduce shares outstanding were $5 billion. Full- year earnings from U.S. upstream operations were $4.272 billion, an increase of $1.379 billion from 2009. Full-year U.S. downstream earnings were $770 million, up $923 million from 2009.