‘ExxonMobil Reported a Record-Smashing Profit of $55.7 BILLION in 2022 …’
On January 31 2023, Imgur user Mech0T1 shared a screenshot of a tweet, which contained a claim that ExxonMobil had reported $55.7 billion in profit for 2022:
📌BREAKING: ExxonMobil reported a record-smashing profit of $55.7 BILLION in 2022.
While taxpayers were getting battered at the pump, these SOBs were raking it in.
I'll expect we'll hear Republicans batter these crooks today, right????
— D. Earl Stephens ✍️ (@EarlOfEnough) January 31, 2023
In the tweet, user @EarlOfEnough stated that “taxpayers were getting battered at the pump,” referencing spiking gas prices in 2022. Gas prices were a consistently popular topic in the first half of 2022, leading to fact checks about gas prices in California, historical pricing for oil barrels, a leaked email from an Applebee’s franchisee, gas prices at the height of the 2020 pandemic, a “gas gouging” bill, and a proposed gas boycott.
No citations or links to news about ExxonMobil’s 2022 profits accompanied the tweet, which was prefaced with an all caps “BREAKING” and a thumbtack or pin emoji. But it provided a fairly specific figure of $55.7 billion in the also-specific time frame of “the year 2022.”
Stock site SeekingAlpha.com indicated that ExxonMobil had participated in an earnings call on January 31 2023. Later that day, Investors.com published “Exxon Mobil Stock, Fueled By ‘Favorable Market,’ Grows Cash 336% in 2022, With Record Profits,” and “record profits” appeared in the headline.
Reuters also reported on ExxonMobil’s January 31 2023 earnings call, in “Exxon smashes Western oil majors’ profits with $56 billion in 2022.” Two pages on corporate.exxonmobil.com pertained to 2022 earnings — one focused on its fourth quarter specifically, and the other was a January 31 2023 press release:
IRVING, Texas – January 31, 2023 – Exxon Mobil Corporation [on January 31 2023] announced fourth-quarter 2022 earnings of $12.8 billion, or $3.09 per share assuming dilution, resulting in full-year earnings of $55.7 billion, or $13.26 per share assuming dilution. Fourth-quarter results included unfavorable identified items of $1.3 billion associated with additional European taxes on the energy sector and asset impairments, partly offset by one-time adjustments related to the Sakhalin-1 expropriation. Capital and exploration expenditures were $7.5 billion in the fourth quarter, bringing full-year 2022 investments to $22.7 billion, consistent with our guidance.
A popular January 31 2023 tweet claimed ExxonMobil reported $55.7 billion in profit for the year 2022; it also mentioned unusually high gas prices in the same year. The figure of $55.7 billion in earnings in 2022 matched a press release issued by ExxonMobil on the day the tweet was published; the claim is true.