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Exxon Mobil Corporation
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2019 Vault Rankings

At a Glance

Uppers

Employees praise the stable employment and good pay.

Downers

Some insiders say that long hours leads to lousy work/life balance.

The Bottom Line

Working for the world's most profitable company has its advantages. It pays well, but it can be a rat race.

About Exxon Mobil Corporation

Exxon Mobil Corporation is the world's #1 publicly traded oil company, rivaled only by giants like Shell, BP, and Total. Its vast portfolio holds about 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent of proved reserves, spread across some 25 countries on six continents. The company has a huge daily average output: 1.6 million barrels of crude oil, 250,000 barrels of NGLs, and 9.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Its biggest business is selling refined products through approximately 19,000 gas stations around the world. Exxon Mobil is also a leader in the chemicals industry, manufacturing olefins, polyolefins, and aromatics that form the base for many plastic products. The company's brands—ExxonMobil, Exxon, Esso, Mobil, and XTO— enjoy global recognition. 

Operations

Exxon Mobil reports three business segments.  

The Downstream segment accounts for some 80% of the company's annual revenue. With 21 refineries spread across 14 countries, Exxon Mobil has a 4.7 million barrels of oil equivalent distillation capacity per day. The corporation also manufactures, trades, and sells petroleum products like fuels, lubricants, and feedstock. 

Its Chemicals segment (10%) manufactures and sells olefins, polyolefins, aromatics, and petrochemicals that are used as the base for other petrochemicals and plastics. A joint venture with SABIC to develop a new ethane cracker in Texas is also listed under this segment. 

ExxonMobil's Upstream segment maintains exploration and development assets that holds some 24 billion BOE in proved reserves. Less than 10% of its sales comes from this segment. 

Geographic Reach

A majority of Exxon Mobil's assets are in North America (19 million net acres), two-thirds of which are in the US. Core assets include the Permian Basin, the Bakken oil play, and the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The rest of Exxon Mobil's assets are scattered across 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. International growth has come from assets in Guyana, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, and Brazil. 

About 35% of the company's sales comes from the US.

Sales and Marketing

Exxon Mobil sells its products and services under the Exxon, Esso, Synergy, and Mobil brands. The company is contractually committed to deliver 57 million barrels of oil and 2,400 billion cubic feet of natural gas during the 2019-21 period. Its Mobil 1 brand is a top seller of synthetic motor oil in the world.

Financial Performance

The commodity price downturn has severely affected Exxon Mobil's revenue in the last decade, with sales drastically dropping from $367 billion in 2014 to $200 billion in 2016. However, revenue is on an upwards trajectory for the last two years, growing to $279 billion in 2018.  

Net income grew modestly from $19.7 billion in 2017 to $20.8 billion in 2018, thanks to higher realization margins in its Upstream segment ($724 million gain). These gains were offset by weaker margins in the Chemicals segment, shrinking by $1.1 billion within a year. Downstream earnings saw a modest $413 million improvement, driven by margin increases from the company's North American crude differentials.

The company's cash and cash equivalents fell by $122 million, ending 2018 with $3 billion on hand. Cash from operations generated $36 billion, while cash from investing used $16.4 million ($19.5 billion going towards net purchase of property, plant, and equipment). Financing activities further used $19.4 million, a majority of which went towards cash dividends. 

Strategy

Exxon Mobil has struggled to capture returns on its oil and gas investments in the last decade; revenue has reduced by half between 2009 and 2018. A very expensive acquisition of XTO Energy in 2009 right before the commodity price downturn led to a massive devaluation. Again in 2017, a fifth of the company's oil reserves were written off as extraction on many of its properties became uneconomical.

Far from being wary about the future market downturns, Exxon Mobil wants to double operating cash flows from its fossil-fuel businesses by 2025 and predicts double-digit rates of return in its three businesses segments.

At the segment level, Exxon Mobil is taking a three-pronged approach. Upstream, the company is shifting operational focus to unconventional sources that are more economical, especially the Permian. Downstream, it is increasing investment in refineries at Baytown and Beaumont in Texas, and in Belgium. Lastly, the company wants petrochemical product expansion through investments in ethane cracker in Texas or specialty elastomer in the UK. 

Despite its ambitious plan, a combination of restrictive climate-change regulations and lawsuits, plus enhancements in scalable fossil fuel alternatives can potentially derail Exxon Mobil's growth strategy. For instance, in October 2018, New York's attorney general filed a suit (currently in the courts) alleging Exxon Mobil deliberately misdirected its recent climate impact reports, an allegation the company denies. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

To expand its brand reach, Exxon Mobil bought PT Federal Karyatama (FKT) in 2018, one of Indonesia's largest manufacturers and marketers of motorcycle lubricants. The acquisition comes with the Federal Oil brand and a 700,000 barrel per year blending plant. Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing lubricants markets in the world.

In June 2018, Exxon Mobil announced the purchase of half of the energy company Equinor's interest in the BM-S-8 block offshore Brazil, bringing its total ownership to 36.5%. This block contains much of the 2 billion barrels of oil in the Carcara field. ExxonMobil currently holds interest in 24 blocks offshore Brazil, totaling more than 2.1 million net acres.

This offshore deal was preceded by a major upstream expansion in the US a year earlier. In a $6.6 billion deal, the company bought 275,000 acres of leasehold land (18,000 BOE/ day) near Fort Worth, Texas, which more than doubled its Permian Basin output. 

Company Background

With a storied 137-year history, Exxon Mobil is a pioneering energy company. A giant to emerge from the break-up of Standard Oil in 1911, it became a top publicly traded energy company after its merger with Mobil in 1999. 

While known for its wide brand recognition, record cash flows, and impressive investor returns, Exxon Mobil also attracts negative press coverage over environmental concerns (like the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill accident). In any given year, the company also fights a range of lawsuits, ranging from leaky petrol stations in the US to political bribery allegations on foreign lands.

Exxon Mobil Corporation

5959 LAS COLINAS BLVD
Irving, TX 75039-2298
Phone: 1 (972) 940-6000

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: XOM
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
SVP and Principal Financial Officer: Andrew P. Swiger
President, ExxonMobil Chemical Company: John R. Verity
Chairman and CEO: Darren W. Woods
Employees (This Location): 400
Employees (All Locations): 71,000

Major Office Locations

Irving, TX

Other Locations

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