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Exxon Posts $14.83 Billion Profit

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

OCTOBER 30, 2008

By SHIRLEEN DORMAN

Exxon Mobil Corp. reported a 58% increase in third-quarter net income, smashing its own record for quarterly profits, amid a $1.62 billion gain and high oil prices.

The world’s biggest nongovernmental oil company had net income of $14.83 billion, or $2.86 a share, up from $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, a year earlier.

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Excluding the gain from selling natural-gas operations in Germany and interest on the Valdez oil-spill damages, earnings came to $2.59 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected $2.38.

Revenue jumped 35% to $137.74 billion amid the price surge, but the figure fell just short of the second quarter’s record $138.07 billion.     

Earnings at the company’s U.S. oil-and-gas production unit — the so-called upstream side of Exxon’s business — grew 74% despite a production drop of 8%.

Profits in the refining segment — the downstream business — rose 51%, with margins rebounding as crude-oil prices fell as the quarter progressed. Chemicals earnings fell 9.6% on lower volumes.

The company continued its ambitious stock repurchasing plan, spending $8.7 billion to reduce outstanding shares by 2.1% during the quarter.

Capital spending has also been surging, rising 26% during the quarter to $6.9 billion. The total for this year is projected to be $25 billion.

Write to Shirleen Dorman at [email protected]

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