Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. shares rose on Friday amid broad weakness for energy equities, boosted by quarterly results that were better than Wall Street anticipated.
Earlier Friday, Exxon
reported adjusted earnings of $1.58 a share on sales that jumped nearly 60% to $73.8 billion. FactSet consensus called for adjusted earnings of $1.56 a share on sales of $71.13 billion.
reported adjusted earnings of $2.96 on revenue that rose 83% to $44.71 billion, beating FactSet consensus of adjusted of $2.20 on sales of $41.22 billion.
Chevron’s “significant” beat was “driven by a robust macro backdrop and strong operational performance,” analysts at Piper Sandler said in a note Friday.
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Free cash flow was at an alltime record of $7.1 billion and share buybacks are likely to “accelerate going forward given strong balance sheet,” they said. Upstream and downstream revenue were higher than expected on a production beat.
Chevron also guided for lower full-year 2021 capital expenses. That was thanks to a deferral of spending into next year and lower non-operating capital in the Permian Basin alongside efficiencies, analysts at Tudor Pickering & Holt said in their note.
At Exxon, the highlight was the announcement that the company’s “strong cash flow outlook” will result in a share buyback program of up $10 billion over a year or two starting in 2022.
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Exxon has given “clear indications of a desire to get back to growth ambitions,” Alastair Symes with Citi said in a note. Exxon’s net debt has fallen 8% quarter-on-quarter, “and although both debt and leverage are still slightly above end-19 levels, the Board clearly feels more comfortable on the outlook.”
The $10 billon buyback announcement “goes towards meeting the demands of investors calling for higher distributions,” Syme said. That, however, will need to be “carefully managed against a balance sheet leverage that sits in the middle of the (integrated oil company) pack.”
Exxon stock is up 10% in October, on pace for its best month since February, when it rose more than 21%. So far this year, the company’s shares are up 57%, on track for their best yearly gain on record, based on available data back to November 1972.
Chevron stock is poised for its highest close since Jan. 17. The stock is up 36% this year, poised to be the stock’s best yearly gain since 1989. The S&P 500 index
has gained about 22% this year.