Exxon Mobil Corp. earned $9.95 billion in the fourth quarter, a 6 percent gain despite lower profits on its upstream oil and gas operations because of lower prices. Higher earnings on refining contributed the gains. Earnings amounted to $2.20 a share, topping financial analysts' consensus estimate of $2 profit margins. Revenue was down 5 percent to $115 billion, in line with Wall Street expectations. The Irving-based company's shares (ticker: XOM) were down slightly in early trading.
Exxon's oil and gas production slipped 5.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding the impacts of entitlement volumes, which involve revenue sharing with foreign governments, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production decreased 2.1 percent, Exxon said.
-- Jim Fuquay