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Exxon Mobil Makes Monster Profit

Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $40.6 billion - as the world's largest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at year's end.

Exxon Mobil also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, besting its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005.

The previous record for annual profit was $39.5 billion, which Exxon Mobil reported for 2006.

The eye-popping results weren't a surprise given record prices for a barrel of oil at the end of 2007. For much of the fourth quarter, they hovered around $90 a barrel, more than 50 percent higher than a year ago.

Crude prices reached an all-time trading high of $100.09 on Jan. 3 but have fallen about 10 percent since.

The record profit for the October-December period amounted to $2.13 a share versus $1.76 a share in 2006. Year-ago net income was $10.25 billion.

Also extraordinary was Exxon Mobil's revenue, which rose 30 percent in the fourth quarter to $116.6 billion from $90 billion a year ago.

For the year, sales rose to $404.5 billion - the most ever for the Irving, Texas-based company - from the $377.64 billion it posted in 2006.

In a statement, Exxon Mobil Chairman Rex Tillerson said the company continued to meet the world's energy needs through its "globally diverse resource base."

"Our long-term investment program, in projects often far from major consuming nations, continued to provide resources essential to the increasingly interdependent global energy supply network," Tillerson said.

Exxon Mobil produces about 3 percent of the world's oil.

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