This from CNN Money:
Record oil prices netted Exxon Mobil $10.89 billion in the first quarter, sharply higher than a year earlier but short of Wall Street expectations and below what was needed to set a new all-time profit record.
The sheer size of the Exxon profit reported Thursday will still likely attract attention from consumer groups and lawmakers, who have been arguing for higher taxes on oil companies amid soaring gas and oil prices.
The company posted first-quarter net income of $10.89 billion, or $2.03 a share. That's up 17% from the $9.28 billion, or $1.62 a share it earned a year earlier, but it missed analysts' consensus forecast of $2.14.
Revenue hit $116.85 billion, up 34% from a year earlier when sales hit $87.2 billion. The profit was still enough to be the second highest U.S. corporate profit on record, falling just short of the record $11.66 billion Exxon Mobil earned in the fourth quarter. The profit came to $1,385 a second, enough to buy nearly 382 gallons of gas at current prices.
Actually, income taxes of $9.3B are only about 1/3 of Exxon's total tax liability of $29.3B for the first quarter of 2008, according to this press release (see chart above). Further, Exxon paid close to $3 in taxes ($2.69) for each $1 it earned in profits.
Prediction: In every single media story today about Exxon, the one key income statement variable that will receive ABSOLUTELY NO ATTENTION is the amount of income taxes paid by Exxon, which was $9.32 billion in the first quarter, according to Exxon.
Following CNN's analysis, Exxon paid $1,185 in income taxes every second this quarter, enough to buy 327 gallons of gas.
Bottom Line: Although Exxon's profits in the first quarter didn't set a record, its quarterly income taxes paid of $9.32 billion did set an all-time record. I predict this will go largely unreported.