Exxon raises dividend despite President Biden warning against it

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Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM) is trading up this morning after the oil giant reported its Q3 results that handily topped Street estimates.

Highlights from CEO’s interview with CNBC

Also on Friday, the multinational increased its quarterly dividend to 91 cents a share despite the Biden administration demanding that oil companies commit to increasing supply instead of return to shareholders. On CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, CEO Darren Woods said:

We don’t cater to any specific political agenda but look for longer term fundamentals. Then we work with the Administration to make sure they understand the fundamentals and we recognise political dynamics and try to help them address those without compromising what we believe are the long-term right answers.

Earlier in October, Exxon partnered with CF Industries on a landmark project that aims at lowering emissions.

We can grow production while making progress in reducing emissions. [CF Industries] is a profitable project. It’s very attractive in our portfolio. It makes us money, but reduces emissions too. Good for the shareholders, good for the planet.

The stock market news sent shares of the Irving-headquartered firm to an all-time high this morning.

Exxon Mobil’s Q3 financial highlights

Net income printed at $19.7 billion versus the year-ago $17.85 billion
Per-share earnings climbed significantly from $4.21 to $4.68
Adjusted for nonrecurring items, EPS stood at $4.45
Revenue shot up another 52% year-on-year to $112.07 billion
Consensus was $3.86 of adjusted EPS on $104.59 billion in revenue

CEO Woods reacts to OPEC’s production cut

Earlier in October, OPEC+ agreed to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day from next month (source). Commenting on that, CEO Woods said:

Some of the stated policies of Biden Administration to shut down oil and gas business in the U.S. longer term, that hands pricing power to OPEC. We shouldn’t be surprised then when OPEC leverages and uses that pricing power.

Exxon was faced with lower refining margins and weaker crude prices this quarter. Nonetheless, stringent cost control, record refining volumes, and higher natural gas prices helped boost performance in the third financial quarter.

Investors worried that they have missed the opportunity to buy Exxon stock should consider that the Wall Street still has a consensus “overweight” rating on it.

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