Exxon posts highest profit in more than a year

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro

(Reuters) -Exxon Mobil on Friday posted its first quarterly results following a contested board fight over its direction, registering its biggest profit in more than a year on rebounding demand for oil, gas and chemicals.

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Oil producers are taking advantage of a doubling of crude oil prices last quarter to pare debt and increase shareholder payouts rather than spending more to boost production.

Deep cost cuts undertaken last year as the COVID-19 pandemic slashed demand have remained, allowing price gains to bolster profits.

Oil and gas production led the way in the quarter with an operating profit of $3.19 billion. Output fell 2% to 3.6 million oil-equivalent barrels per day during the quarter.

The company’s net income for the second quarter came in at $4.69 billion, or $1.10 per share, compared with a loss of $1.08 billion, or 26 cents per share, a year ago, which included a gain related to reversing an inventory writedown. Absent the inventory change, the loss would have been $3 billion.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)