Oct 30, 2020 - Energy & Environment

ExxonMobil posts loss and plans big job cuts

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Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

ExxonMobil reported a $680 million quarterly loss on Friday and announced plans for steep spending cuts, which comes just a day after it revealed plans for major layoffs.

Why it matters: The announcements signal how the company, which has made huge investments in supply expansions in recent years, is struggling to adjust to the sector's new reality.

By the numbers: The third consecutive quarterly loss is smaller than the $1.1 billion loss in Q2, but this morning's announcement nonetheless underscores the oil giant's tough path as the company revealed even deeper planned cost cuts.

  • Exxon also said it's now planning capital spending of $16 billion to $19 billion in 2021, down from $23 billion this year — which itself was a steep cut from pre-pandemic plans.

Driving the news: The result follows yesterday's announcement they will cut 1,900 U.S. staff as part of a wider global reduction of as many as 14,000, which is roughly 15% of their workforce, including contractors.

  • Reductions will come from retirements, layoffs and lower hiring. Reuters has more.

Where it stands: Chevron also reported a $201 million Q3 loss this morning, far smaller than the prior quarter's bleed but a stark contrast to its $2.6 billion profit in Q3 2019.

  • CEO Michael Wirth noted low commodity prices and pandemic-curtailed demand.
  • “We remain focused on what we can control — safe operations, capital discipline and cost management,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, France-based giant Total SE posted a $202 million profit.

  • Bloomberg notes that Total is faring better during the pandemic than its rivals, but points out that headwinds remain.
  • "The company boasted of its resilience to oil at $40 in a week when prices slumped below that level as the second wave of the pandemic took hold," they report.
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