Thursday, October 26, 2006

Exxon Mobil earnings up with oil prices...

You know, I'm not a communist. I like money.

I really, really, like money.

But this is alittle much...

Ain't it the truth...


Exxon Mobil earnings up with oil prices

By Michael Erman
Thu Oct 26, 11:21 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM - news) on Thursday said earnings rose 6 percent to $10.5 billion, the second-largest quarterly operating profit ever by a U.S. company, boosted by strong oil production as crude prices hovered near record levels.

The better-than-expected third-quarter profit pushed the company's shares to an all-time high of $72.33 on Thursday morning, before they retreated to $71.44, a 0.6 percent increase. U.S. oil prices hit a record high of $78.40 a barrel in early June and spent much of the third quarter above $70 before retreating to around $60 as the summer driving season ended and geopolitical tensions eased. U.S. crude is currently trading at around $61 a barrel.

Production at the world's largest public company rose about 7 percent to about 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

"Anything over 3 percent (production growth) is good, and anything over 5 percent is outstanding," said Gene Pisasale, senior energy analyst at Mercantile Trust. "For a company like Exxon to perform at that level is really superb."

Net income rose to $10.49 billion, or $1.77 a share, from $9.92 billion, or $1.58 a share, last year. Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of $1.59 a share in the quarter, according to Reuters Estimates. The profit came in slightly behind the record Exxon posted in the fourth quarter of 2005 and edged out the company's second-quarter earnings.

Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson said in a statement that earnings rose on higher realized prices for crude oil and natural gas, as well as improved marketing and chemical margins. Those gains were partly offset by lower refining margins, he said.
Quarterly revenue dipped to $99.59 billion from $100.72 billion last year.

Exxon said earnings excluding special items at its exploration and production operations rose about 13 percent to $6.49 billion. Earnings from the company's refining and marketing operations rose about 29 percent to $2.74 billion, as stronger marketing margins offset the weak refining margins. Other oil majors also announced surging quarterly earnings this week. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said its underlying profit rose 21 percent and BP Plc (BP.L) announced a 58 percent rise, helped by asset sales. Earnings rose slightly at ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP - news) as production problems restrained the company's earnings growth.

But the pullback of oil prices from sky-high levels has led many investors and analysts to speculate that the days of record oil company profits are nearing their end. Howard Weill energy analyst Gene Gillespie said analysts expects earnings from the oil industry to drop about 10 percent in the fourth quarter. "Exxon isn't immune from what's going on in the industry," Gillespie said. "If commodity prices continue to rise, they'll grow. If they don't they won't."
Shares of Exxon Mobil are up about 27 percent since the beginning of the year and hit a historic high of $71.40 on Wednesday. The Chicago Board Options Exchange's oil index (^OIX - news) is up about 20 percent in the same period.


Damn, can a brutha get some of that?


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