The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), the largest equity-based energy ETF, rallied again last Friday, extending its 2019 gains to over 11%. That after the previously downtrodden energy sector notched one of its best January showings on record.
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said “net income fell to $6.00 billion, or $1.41 a share, from $8.38 billion, or $1.97 a share, in the same period a year ago, which included a $5.9 billion benefit from tax reform. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $1.08. Total revenue rose to $71.90 billion from $66.52 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $72.53 billion, while production increased to 4.01 million oil-equivalent barrels per day from 3.99 million, topping expectations of 4.00 million,” reports MarketWatch.
The energy sector was one of the worst-performing groups in the S&P 500 in 2018, as highlighted by an annual decline of 18.20% for XLE. With oil prices needing positive catalysts, the ability of OPEC to lower output is critical for the commodity’s near-term fortunes. Likewise, some market observers are concerned about U.S. shale producers keeping output high as prices decline.
There’s More for Chevron
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil and the number two holding in XLE behind Exxon, also reported solid fourth-quarter results.