The US oil and gas group, ExxonMobil, has doubled profits in the second quarter, helped by rising oil prices, cost savings and higher refinery margins.
Net profit climbed to $3.4 billion, from $1.7 billion a year earlier. Upstream, which deals with oil and gas production, jumped up to $1.2 billion, and downstream (refining and sales) managed to reach $1.4 billion. However, Exxon saw a drop in profitability, among other things due to increased costs.
Oil and gas production in the last quarter was equivalent to 3.9 million barrels a day, slightly less than a year earlier.
“These solid results across our businesses were driven by higher commodity prices and a continued focus on operations and business fundamentals,” Darren Woods, Exxon’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Our job is to grow long-term value by investing in our integrated portfolio of opportunities that succeed regardless of market conditions.”
Chevron posted a $1.5 billion profit in the last quarter, against a loss of $1.5 billion a year ago. Then the result was heavily depressed by large depreciation. Chevron also benefited from higher production and cost savings.
American pharmaceutical Merck has increased its sales expectations for the year. The company performed especially good business with Keytruda’s cancer drug in the past second quarter and expects to hold on to the momentum.
Merck is now accounting for revenues from $39.4 billion to $40.4 billion. Previously, it was estimated to be $30.1 billion to $40.3 billion. Over the last three months, sales rose by 1 percent to $9.9 billion. Keytruda raised $881 million. That’s almost a triple and, moreover, more than what analysts are spending. Under the line, Merck left $1.9 billion, down 1.2 billion a year earlier.
The company continued to suffer from the major cyber attack that caused problems worldwide at the end of last month, also in the port of Rotterdam. The extent of the damage has not yet been mapped. Production, research and sales departments were affected. Production is still not above Jan.
“Full recovery from the cyber-attack will take some time, but we are making steady progress,” Chief Executive Ken Frazier said on a conference call as the company reported quarterly results.