Shares of Exxon Mobil jumped after the oil and gas giant reported fourth-quarter 2018 earnings that easily topped Wall Street’s expectations and reported a jump in fossil fuel production.
The stock price for the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company was up 3.6 percent at $75.95 in premarket trading.
Exxon earned a quarterly profit of $6 billion including the impacts of U.S. tax changes, down 28 percent from a year ago. That pencils out to earnings per share of $1.41, beating Refinitiv forecasts for $1.08 per share.
Excluding tax impacts, the company earned $6.41 billion for the quarter, marking a 72 percent increase from the same period a year ago.
Revenues came in at $71.89 billion, well below expectations for $77.28 billion from Refinitiv.
Analysts were closely watching Exxon’s headline oil and natural gas output. The Irving, Texas-based company has regularly reported lower hydrocarbon production over the last two years.
On Thursday, the oil major announced it will restructure its upstream business, consolidating operations across three companies in order to achieve its goal of doubling operating cash flow and earnings by 2025.
Exxon’s downstream business refining and selling fuels have also been on Street’s radar. Heavy maintenance at refineries has weighed on profits in the segment. Exxon has warned of further downtime as it retools facilities to process low-sulfur fuels ahead of tighter emissions standards in the maritime shipping industry.
On Tuesday, Exxon announced a final decision to expand its Beaumont, Texas refinery to process a surge of production from shale fields in the Permian Basin. The build-out will make the Beaumont facility the second largest in the United States after Saudi Aramco’s Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.