Mixed Messages On Oil Industry Earnings

Exxon Quarterly Profit 5th Highest Ever

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest oil company, reported Thursday the fifth highest quarterly profit for any public company in history, posting gains from higher oil prices that were likely to stoke the furor over outsized oil company earnings.

Oil Industry Earnings Disappoint Street

NEW YORK – Oil companies fueled the firestorm over high energy prices Thursday as several of the nation’s largest firms reported soaring quarterly profits, but for Wall Street, the earnings weren’t high enough.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s biggest oil company, posted an $8.4 billion profit in the first quarter, but the results fell shy of analysts’ target. Marathon Oil Corp. disappointed the Street despite doubling its quarterly profit, and Apache Corp. missed estimates on an 18 percent increase in earnings.

The problem is that in January 2006, Exxon reported the highest quarterly profit for any public company in history: $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter of 2005, which is a hard act to follow…

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