Exxon Mobil issues improved profit and cash flow outlook

Exxon Mobil issued new financial guidance on Wednesday, saying its profit potential and ability to generate cash look better than they did last year.

The Irving, Texas-based energy giant expects earnings to grow by $4 billion this year. That compares with profit growth of $1.1 billion last year, before accounting for the effects of U.S. tax reform.

Exxon believes its annual earnings potential will increase by 140 percent between 2017 and 2025, compared with its outlook for 135 percent growth last year. Exxon now thinks its earnings potential between this year and 2025 is about $9 billion higher than previously forecast.

“Given the success we experienced last year and the progress we’re making on our plans, we have even greater confidence in our ability to grow value for our shareholders,” Exxon chairman and CEO Darren Woods said at the company’s investor day.

The oil major expects its annual cash flow from operations — a key measure of financial health in the oil industry — to hit $60 billion by 2025.

Exxon upped its overall cash flow forecast by $24 billion from last year, with about $15 billion of the increase coming from sales of the company’s assets. This year, Exxon expects cash flow from operations and asset sales to grow by $5 billion.

On Tuesday, Exxon said it expects its oil and natural gas production from the Permian Basin, the top U.S. shale field, to grow to about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, a nearly 80 percent increase from last year’s investor day forecast.

Exxon expects its capital spending to grow by $4 billion this year, to $30 billion. Next year, the company expects to spend $33 billion to $35 billion, and $30 billion to $35 billion in the following years through 2025.

Shares of Exxon were down about 1 percent ahead of the start of trading on Wednesday. The stock is up about 16.5 percent this year.

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