Exxon Mobil posts record profits for 4Q, full year


Monday, January 30th 2006, 9:34 am
By: News On 6


IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company on Monday _ $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year _ as the world's biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from high oil and gas prices and demand for refined products. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations and Exxon shares rose nearly 3 percent on premarket trading.

The company's earnings amounted to $1.71 per share for the October-December quarter, up from $8.42 billion, or $1.30 per share, in the year ago quarter. The result topped the then-record quarterly profit of $9.92 billion Exxon posted in the third quarter of 2005.

Exxon's profit for the year was also the largest annual reported net income in U.S. history, according to Howard Silverblatt, a stock market analyst for Standard & Poor's. He said the previous high was Exxon's $25.3 billion profit in 2004.

The results for the latest quarter included a $390 million gain related to a litigation settlement. Excluding special items, earnings were $10.32 billion, or $1.65 per share. The result topped Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial predicted earnings of $1.44 per share.

Exxon shares rose $1.79, or 2.9 percent, to $63.08 in premarket activity.

Quarterly revenue ballooned to $99.66 billion from $83.37 billion a year ago but came in shy of the $100.72 billion Exxon posted in the third quarter, which was the first time a U.S. public company generated more than $100 billion in sales in a single quarter.

By segment, exploration and production earnings rose sharply to $7.04 billion, up $2.15 billion from the 2004 quarter, reflecting higher crude oil and natural gas prices. Production decreased by 1 percent due to the lingering effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which battered the Gulf Coast in August and September.

The company's refining and marketing segment reported $2.39 billion in earnings, as higher refining and marketing margins helped offset the residual effects of the hurricanes.

Exxon's chemicals business saw earnings, excluding special items, decline by $413 million to $835 million, as higher materials costs squeezed margins.

For the full year, net income surged to $5.71 per share from $3.89 per share in 2004. Annual revenue grew to $371 billion from $298.04 billion.