irving Thanks to soaring oil prices, Exxon Mobil earned more than ever last year. The largest US oil multinational announced a profit of 55.7 billion dollars, the equivalent of 51.4 billion euros, for 2022 on Tuesday. Exxon thus increased net income by around 140 percent over the previous year.
Sales increased by around 45 percent to $413.7 billion. In the final quarter, revenues rose by a good twelve percent to $95.4 billion.
While many sectors of the economy and companies had to make heavy cuts in 2022 in the face of inflation concerns and rising key interest rates, things went brilliantly for Exxon and most companies in the oil industry. Prices on the oil and gas market rose sharply, which was also due to the temporarily significant shortage of supply due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Experts expect multinationals to post annual profits totaling almost $200 billion in 2022.
In times of high fuel and heating costs, however, the record profits are not well received everywhere. US President Joe Biden has publicly criticized Exxon on several occasions and called on the US Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate evidence of illegal price gouging in the oil industry as early as 2021. He was particularly struck by the billion-dollar share buybacks and dividend payments.
Exxon boss Darren Woods now admitted that the strong quarterly and annual figures “clearly benefited from the favorable market environment”. However, one reason is that Exxon was willing to invest before and during the pandemic.
Despite the record results, investors reacted cautiously and dropped Exxon’s shares by around four percent in an initial reaction. The figures exceeded Wall Street analysts’ forecasts. But after its largest US competitor Chevron announced a $75 billion share buyback program and a higher dividend last week, some investors were apparently disappointed that Exxon did not present any new plans to distribute profits to shareholders for the time being.
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