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Exxon Profits Are Up Substantially, Thanks To High Oil Prices
Oil giant Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported first-quarter earnings per share of $1.33, above both the year-earlier results of $0.92 and our estimate of $1.25. The stock, nevertheless, fell modestly following the news on an up day for the market, as profit expectations had risen in recent weeks due to higher oil prices. The oil production and chemicals segments were comparatively strong, but weakness lingered in the refining and marketing division. The bottom line was also reduced by a $0.04-a-share charge associated with recently enacted U.S. healthcare legislation. On balance, economic fundamentals appear to be relatively favorable for Exxon. Elsewhere, the company's planned acquisition of XTO Energy is targeted for completion by the end of June.