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Natural Gas And Chemicals Protect Exxon Mobil From Low Oil Prices

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) reported its Q4 results yesterday, slightly missing analysts' estimates (EPS $1.32 vs. $1.34). Nevertheless, the company exhibited remarkable performance in Q4 for an almost pure upstream oil major. More specifically, given that the average WTI price in Q4 was 25% lower than that of last year and the great leverage of upstream companies on the oil price, one would expect Exxon's earnings to fall much more than 25%. However, the earnings of the company declined just 21% in Q4 over last year. This article discusses why Exxon exhibited such a great defense against the collapse of the oil…