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ExxonMobil Maintains Dividend, Even After Q2 Billion-Dollar Loss

By John Bromels – Updated Jul 31, 2020 at 1:50PM

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Shareholders of the top oil company can breathe a sigh of relief.

Everybody knew that Q2 2020 was going to be bad for oil companies. But most weren't expecting ExxonMobil's (XOM 0.72%) results to be quite this bad. The oil giant reported a $1.1 billion Q2 loss, or $0.70 a share. It was ExxonMobil's second quarterly loss in a row, worse than analysts' consensus of a loss of $0.63 a share. In a press release, ExxonMobil blamed "global oversupply and COVID-related demand impacts" for the poor performance. 

Despite the loss, the company had already announced that it would maintain its quarterly dividend of $0.87 a share for Q3 2020, unchanged since Q3 2019.

A frowning man stands in front of an oil barrel spilling oil onto the floor.

Image source: Getty Images.

Discouraging numbers

ExxonMobil's $1.1 billion loss was worse than its Q1 loss of $610 million, but that's not unexpected. Oil prices crashed in early March, when Q1 was already more than half finished. Conversely, they were low throughout the second quarter, which ended June 30.

The rest of the quarter's numbers were also down (again, unsurprisingly). Revenue fell by 41.9% sequentially and a staggering 52.8% year over year. Liquids production (including oil) fell by 7% from Q1, while natural gas production was down by 15%. Fuel margins, refinery utilization, and petrochemical demand all suffered as well. 

Besides maintaining its dividend, the silver lining to the poor performance was encouraging news about ExxonMobil's debt levels. The company's debt has soared from $46.9 billion at the end of 2019 to $69.5 billion today, as it scrambled to raise cash to meet its dividend commitments.

"Based on current projections, we do not plan to take on any additional debt," CEO Darren Woods said in a press release.

John Bromels has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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