Exxon Mobil, America’s leading oil producer, announced its first annual loss as a public company on Tuesday as the COVID-19 pandemic hit energy prices and reduced the value of its assets from shale gas by more than $ 20 billion in the fourth quarter.
Exxon cut up to 15% of its workforce and delayed oil and gas projects after accepting that oil prices could remain below $ 60 a barrel for years. In addition, last year it added $ 22 billion to its debt to cover dividends and project spending.
The company reported an annual net loss of $ 22.44 billion in 2020, compared to a full-year profit of $ 14.34 billion in 2019.
Exxon posted four consecutive quarters of losses in 2020 and is under fire from investors pushing for a change in the board and a better strategy for a transition to cleaner fuels.
The company on Tuesday appointed former Petronas chairman Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin to its board of directors and said it was in talks with other candidates.
Exxon shares rose 2.3% to about $ 46 in pre-opening trading.
Other oil majors are also under pressure, as pandemic-related travel restrictions weaken demand for fuel and spur energy companies to cut costs.
Rival BP had reported its first annual loss in a decade on Tuesday, while Chevron reported its first annual loss since 2016 on Friday.
Royal Dutch Shell will present its financial results on Thursday and Total SA will do so next week.
Exxon posted a net loss of $ 20.2 billion, or $ 4.70 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a profit of $ 5.69 billion, or $ 1.33 per share, earlier. one year.
Excluding impairment and other charges, the company earned 3 cents a share, beating analysts’ median expectation of a one-cent profit, according to data from Refinitiv IBES.
Exxon’s oil and gas production held steady at 3.7 million barrels of oil and gas a day in the quarter as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut production.
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