Exxon Mobil Q4 Earnings Surge, Top Estimates

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Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, said its fourth-quarter profit soared 53% as the company echoed the same themes mentioned by its rival in recent earnings reports: Higher oil prices and increased demand for the commodity spurred profits during the quarter.

The Dow component said it earned $9.25 billion, or $1.85 a share in the fourth-quarter, compared with $6.05 billion, or $1.27 per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 17% to $105 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.62 a share on sales of $99.1 billion.

Exxon Mobil (XOM), the world's largest publicly traded company, boosted fourth-quarter production by 19% to exploit soaring oil prices. The company's exploration and production operations posted a domestic profit of $1.3 billion and $6.2 billion on a global basis.

Exxon's refining business showed a profit of $1.2 billion after posting a loss in the fourth-quarter of 2009. The chemical's business had a profit of $1.1 billion for the quarter. Exxon is also the largest U.S. natural gas producer, but prices for that commodity remain in the doldrums as producers continue to bring excess supply to market.