US supermajor has reported a 4% fall in quarterly net income in a slip that was narrower than analysts had predicted.
The Irving, Texas-headquartered giant earned $9.1 billion in the first three months of the year compared to $9.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013.
Earnings per share of $2.10 substantially exceeded average expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a per-share profit of $1.88.
Chief executive Rex Tillerson said the results reflected a continuing focus on profitable growth and long-term shareholder value.
“Strong performance in the Upstream benefited from improved production mix and increased unit profitability,” he said.
Upstream earnings increased 11% to $7.78 billion in a rise that ExxonMobil said was mostly due to the recovery in North American gas prices, though offset by lower oil prices, as well as asset sales.
Downstream earnings were almost halved by weaker margins, booking $813 million income, down by $732 million in the first quarter of 2013.
The period saw a 28% fall in capital expenditure to $8.4 billion due to the absence of the year-ago purchase of Canada’s Celtic Exploration for $3.1 billion.
Oil-equivalent production decreased by 5.6% to 4.15 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from 4.39 million boepd in the year-ago period.
Liquids production declined by 45,000 barrels per day of oil to 2.148 million bpd.
ExxonMobil said that excluding onshore Abu Dhabi – where in January a string of 75-year deals with foreign oil majors expired pending a new award process – the company’s liquid output actually rose 3.3%.
First gas at Malaysia’s Damar field and the signing of heads of agreement on Alaska LNG were among the major project developments of the quarter.