Exxon Mobile Makes Record Profit

From CNN Money:

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) set a quarterly profit record for a U.S. company Thursday, surging past analyst estimates.

Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500), the leading U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter net profit was $14.83 billion, or $2.86 per share, up from $9.41 billion, or $1.70, a year earlier. That profit included $1.45 billion in special items.

The company’s prior record was $11.68 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

Record oil prices were behind the surge in profits. MarketWatch has a statement from Chairman of the Board Rex W. Tillerson, which begins with:

“ExxonMobil’s strong results in the third quarter of 2008 demonstrate the continued success of our disciplined business approach.”

Ahem. Their disciplined business approach surely played a role, but a small one. The company sold a German natural gas company for $9.3 million. Spikes in natural gas and crude oil prices raised earnings $4.4 billion. Meanwhile, the company lost $1.3 billion due to lower demand.

In other words, circumstance propped up another industry
, and Mr. Tillerson let the company take credit for it. In the bigger economic picture, ExxonMobil’s earnings, like yesterday’s durable goods statistics, only confirm what we already know: That oil is expensive, and the defense industry is doing well, and that the two are not mutually exclusive.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.