Good day, everyone. Welcome to the Exxon Mobil Corporation Third Quarter 2019 Earnings Call. Today's call is being recorded. At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to the Vice President of Investor Relations & Secretary, Mr. Neil Hansen. Please go ahead, sir.
Right, thank you. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our third quarter earnings call. We appreciate your participation and continued interest in ExxonMobil. Neil Hansen, Vice President of Investor Relations. During today's call, I'll review our financial and operating performance, and provide updates on the substantial progress we've made on our major growth projects. I'll be happy to take your questions following my prepared remarks.
My comments this morning, will reference the slides available on the Investors section of our website. I'd also like to draw your attention to the cautionary statement on slide 2 and the supplemental information at the end of the presentation.
Moving to slide 3, let me begin by summarizing the excellent progress we've made this year on plans to grow shareholder value. The long-term fundamentals that underpin our investments remain strong. We've generated nearly $9 billion in earnings through the first nine months of the year, with a portfolio that is resilient to a range of commodity prices and margins. We are investing in advantage projects that will grow the earnings and cash generation capacity of each of our businesses.
The nearly $23 billion of capex year-to-date is in line with current-year plans and reflects strong execution of key deliverables. Liquids production has increased significantly from last year, with volumes up 131,000 barrels per day or 6%, driven by strong growth in the Permian. We remain on track to meet the full-year outlook of producing 4 million oil equivalent barrels per day this year. In addition, efforts to high-grade our portfolio are proceeding ahead of schedule. Including the consideration from the agreement we signed to sell non-operated upstream assets in Norway, divestments now total nearly $5 billion.
Exploration success has continued this year with five significant deepwater discoveries, oil in Guyana and one in Cyprus. And we've reached final investment decisions for 10 major strategic projects this year, including projects from all three business lines.
We also increased the quarterly dividend by 6%, marking the 37th consecutive year of dividend growth.
Finally, the strength of our balance sheet provides us with the capacity to invest through the cycle with leverage at just 12%. The positive momentum we've generated so far this year is in line with the plans we laid out in 2018 and reiterated in March, and positions us well to generate long-term shareholder value.
I'll now highlight the third quarter financial performance, starting on slide 4. Earnings were $3.2 billion in the quarter or $0.75 per share, including a positive $0.07 per share impact from a one-time tax item. Results were consistent with expectations, given the margin environment, seasonal impacts and planned maintenance experienced during the quarter.
Crude oil prices declined relative to the second quarter, while refining margins improved.
Vice President, Investor Relations & Secretary
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