The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Earnings Analysis Roundup

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 6, 2011

Earnings reports generate lots of headlines, too little perspective and predictable claims from politicians that the earnings of energy companies prove they aren't giving a fair share to government. With the dust starting to settle from last week's reports, here's some analysis that puts the financials in context. In this post, ExxonMobil VP Ken Cohen explains his company's first-quarter earnings report, which showed ExxonMobil earned about 7 cents for every gallon of gasoline and other products it refined and sold in the United States.

Carpe Diem blog's Mark J. Perry gets inside the ExxonMobil numbers here, and our own post on the numbers from ConocoPhillips is here.

Meanwhile, an Investor's Business Daily editorial counters critics of energy companies' earnings - notably, by comparing their returns with those of other successful businesses. "Lost in the rush to demonize oil companies is historical context," the edit says. "What some would say are large profits simply aren't inevitable. The oil industry has gone through periods of low profits before and will again."

Finally, the Tax Foundation's Michael Vogler notes U.S. government entities depend on direct and indirect taxes paid by energy companies, and that real people bear the burden of net increases in corporate taxes.

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Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.