Shares of Exxon Up after Revenue and Profit Beat Street

Exxon Mobil Corp announced its earnings for the third quarter were up by 2.5% as higher margins on refining and more improvements at its marketing and refining segment helped to offset a lower production.

Shares were up by 2% during trading before the bell on Friday as the results beat Wall Street estimates.

Over the latest quarter, there was a drop in production of 4.7%, but CEO Rex Tillerson said the production target for the company for the full year remains on track.

The fall in production reflects in part the willingness by the leadership of Exxon to shed some less profitable barrels, such as the concession it had in Abu Dhabi that expired.

Exxon lagged behind rival Chevron in squeezing the most it can in profit form barrels of gas and oil. Tillerson has insisted that improving profitability was one of the highest priorities for the company.

Exxon meanwhile has started pumping gas and oil from some of its major projects of late, including a Canadian venture in the oils sands that started last year and a project involving gas export in Papua New Guinea that shipped the first cargoes during the year’s second quarter.

Exxon Mobil is planning to drill in the Arctic seas of Russia, which is its biggest opportunity to locate untapped deposits of gas and oil, but is facing some uncertainty amidst the sanctions by the U.S. on the government of Russia.

Exxon said recently that it would stop drilling in the Arctic waters of Russia because of the U.S. sanctions.

Exxon Mobil overall reported a $8.07 billion profit equal to $1.89 per share, which was up from the same period last year of $7.87 billion equal to $1.79 per share.

Revenue was at $107.5 billion, which represented a drop of 4.3%.

Analysts on Wall Street were expecting Exxon to have revenue of $105.5 billion and profits of $1.71 billion.

Earnings for Exxon in its production and exploration business dropped by 4.4% and ended at $6.42 billion.

Marketing and refining earnings were up 73% to end the quarter at $1.02 billion.