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Exxon Profit Rises 53 Percent, Tops Street

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp reported a better-than-expected 53 percent increase in quarterly profit as an improving world economy sparked higher demand for fuel and chemicals as crude oil prices rose.

It reported a fourth-quarter profit of $9.25 billion, or $1.85 per share, compared with $6.05 billion, or $1.27 per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.63 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Oil-equivalent production rose 19 percent from the year-ago quarter, lifted by liquefied natural gas operations in Qatar, the Irving Texas company said on Monday.

Revenue soared to $105.2 billion from $89.8 billion a year earlier.

Shares of Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, rose 1.4 percent in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Copyright 2010 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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