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    ExxonMobil Beats U.S. Annual Profit Record

    The company earned $40.6 billion, due to high crude oil prices.

    HOUSTON -- ExxonMobil Corp. secured its hold as the largest earning company in the U.S. last week when it posted $40.6 billion in profit for fiscal 2007 -- the largest annual profit by a U.S. company -- thanks to record crude oil prices at the end of 2007, The Associated Press reported. The company also held the previous record for annual profit, at $39.5 billion earned in 2006, according to the report.

    The company also set a U.S. record for the highest quarterly profit, at $11.7 billion in net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, which beat its own record of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005, the report stated. Revenue was also remarkable, at $116.6 billion in the fourth quarter, a 30 percent increase from $90 billion a year ago, the report stated.

    The record results were caused by oil prices, which for much of the fourth quarter, hovered around $90 a barrel, more than 50 percent higher than a year ago, the AP reported. Crude prices reached an all-time trading high of $100.09 on Jan. 3, but have since fallen by approximately 10 percent, the report stated.

    "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," ExxonMobil chairman Rex Tillerson told the AP.

    Refining and marketing earnings totaled $2.3 billion, up from the nearly $2 billion in the comparable quarter, due to improved refining operations that offset lower U.S. refining margins, the report stated.

    Net income also rose for Chevron Corp., which saw a 29 percent increase in earnings, thanks to a boost in its exploration and production segment, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

    However, the company's refining and marketing business fell as gas prices and other end product prices failed to keep pace with those of oil, the report stated.

    The company also benefited from record oil prices, despite a fall in overall production, according to the report. Earnings jumped to $4.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, from the $3.8 billion seen in the year-ago period, while revenue rose to $61.4 billion from $47.7 billion, the report stated.

    "Fourth-quarter earnings for our upstream business benefited from a significant increase in the price of crude oil," chairman and CEO Dave O'Reilly told Dow Jones Newswires. "However, downstream profits were off sharply because of planned and unplanned refinery downtime in the United States, as well as the impact of higher crude-oil costs that were not fully recovered in the sales price of refined products."

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