Surging Chevron, Exxon profits signal oil industry turnaround

By Ernest Scheyder | HOUSTON

Rising crude prices helped Chevron Corp (CVX.N) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) easily beat analysts’ quarterly profit expectations on Friday, setting an upbeat tone as the two companies press ahead with shale oil and liquefied natural gas expansions.

While cost cuts and asset sales provided a boost to both companies, the results highlighted the slowly improving dynamics for the energy industry as oil prices CLc1 LCOc1 have climbed more than 50 percent since early 2016.

First-quarter results were especially robust at Exxon, where quarterly profit more than doubled to $4.01 billion, even as production fell 4 percent.

Chevron swung to a $2.68 billion quarterly profit and turned cash flow positive, earning more than it spent, a milestone Wall Street analysts had long sought.

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