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Record Profits - Again!

Exxon Mobil nets largest annual profit in U.S. History

Exxon Mobil Corp. has (for the second time), beaten Wall Street expectations by setting a new record for the highest profit ever earned by a U.S. company in a single year.

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Once again, Exxon Mobil Corp. has blown past Wall Street expectations and set a new record for the highest profit ever earned by a U.S. company in a single year According to Exxon, the company's 2006 profits reached $39.5 billion, trumping its own record of $36.1 billion in 2005. With the exception of just over $400 million in tax benefits, annual profits netted $39 billion, $2 billion higher than the $37 billion analysts previously estimated.

Per-share earnings for 2006 grew to $6.62, or $6.55 minus the tax benefit. Either way, Exxon beat the expected $6.36 per-share rallying through a volatile year of fluctuating oil, and natural gas prices. Crude oil price per barrel was as high as $77 a barrel in July, ending at $61 a barrel. Natural gas prices fell during 2006 to half of the December 2005 high of $15 per million BTU's (British thermal units) affecting natural gas producers and distributors.

Exxon's 2006 average quarterly results fell some 4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, yet still exceeded $10 billion surpassing expectations. Exxon earned $10.25 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006, $1.75 per share, compared to $10.7 billion, $1.71 per share last year. Minus the tax benefit, 2006 quarterly earnings were $9.8 billion, $1.69 per share, down 5 percent from $10.3 billion, or $1.65 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2005. October-December quarterly revenue was down $90, from $99.3 billion in the same time period of 2005. Exxon's annual 2006 revenue increased by nearly $378 billion, up from $370 billion in 2005.

Royal Dutch Shell, the world's second-largest oil company also reported profits for 2006, though as tremendous as Exxon Mobil. The Hague-based Royal Dutch Shell earned $5.28 billion in the 4th quarter 2006, a 21 percent jump compared to the $4.39 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. Full-year earnings were reported as $25.4 billion, a modest 1 percent rise over $25.3 billion in 2005.

Marathon Oil Corp reports lower earnings at $1.08 billion, $3.06 per share, a 17 percent drop compared to $1.26 billion, $3.43 per share in the fourth quarter of 2005. Marathon earned $838 million, $2.38 per share, compared to $1.33 billion, $3.61 per share in the 2005 year earnings. Even with the lower earnings, Marathon Oil exceeded Wall Street expectations of only $2.26 per share for the quarter. In 2006, Marathon earned $5.2 billion, $14.50 per share, up from $3 billion, $8.44 per share in 2005. 2006 quarterly revenue came in at $14 billion compared to $17.2 billion in 2005. Total revenue for 2006 was $65.4 billion compared to $63.3 billion in 2005.

Houston-based independent oil and gas producer Apache reported lower earnings in 2006 earnings at $2.55 billion, $7.64 per share, compared to a 2005 record of $2.62 billion, $7.84 per share. Gas prices pushed Apache's 2006 quarterly earnings to $519 million, $1.56 per share, from $787 million $2.35 in 2005 just shy of expected earnings of $1.60 per share. ExxonMobil's first 2006 quarter net income was $9,280 million.

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