HOUSTON - Oil giant Exxon Mobil topped its own record for the biggest annual profit by a U.S. company last year, racking up earnings that amounted to $4.5 million an hour for the world's largest publicly traded oil company.
It reported the record net income — $39.5 billion — despite a 4 percent drop in earnings in the final three months of 2006, as prices for oil and natural gas fell from extraordinary levels earlier in the year.
Lower commodity prices may linger for at least the first part of 2007, even as the cost of doing business rises because of factors such as a shortage of drilling equipment and labor.
Gas prices are down but profits are up. Where is the cry for a tax on oil company profits now?
On the other hand Chevron didn't fare as well last quarter.
SAN RAMON, Calif. - Chevron Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit dropped by nine percent amid lower energy prices, but the nation's second largest oil company still ended up with its third consecutive year of record earnings.If I had money to invest, I'd give serious consideration to Chevron. One off quarter doesn't mark a company as a failure but instead may signal an opportunity.
The San Ramon-based company said Friday that it made $3.77 billion, or $1.74 per share, during the final three months of 2006. That compared with net income of $4.14 billion, or $1.86 per share, at the same time in 2005.
It marked Chevron's first quarterly profit decline in more than a year.
Revenue for the period totaled $47.7 billion, down 11 percent from $53.8 billion in the previous year.
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