Exxon Mobil reported its first decline in quarterly earnings Thursday before market open, but still managed to post the largest annual corporate profit in U.S. history for FY 2006. By the numbers, Exxon's 4Q06 profits declined 4% versus the prior year period, pulling in $10.25 billion, good for EPS of $1.76, on revenue of $90.03 billion. During 4Q05, the U.S.'s largest oil company earned $10.71 billion (EPS of $1.71) on revenue of $99.34 billion. Excluding special items, the company earned $9.84 billion, or EPS of $1.69 in its recent quarter. Thomson consensus estimates called for earnings of $1.51 a share. The lower earnings did not stop the company from pulling in earnings for the year of $39.5 billion, upping its previous record of $36.1 billion during the previous year. The quarterly losses were largely due to lower natural gas realizations and refining margins. Shares are up $0.72 (0.97%) to $74.82 in pre-market action.
• Sources: Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Reuters, MarketWatch. Exxon Mobil earnings conference call transcript (available later).
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• Stocks and ETFs to watch: ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM). Competitors: ConocoPhillips (COP), BP plc (BP), Chevron Corp. (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), Total (TOT). ETFs: Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE), PowerShares Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production Port (PXE)
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