BUSINESS
01/31/2011 09:33 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Exxon Profit Rises 53 Percent, Tops Street

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)

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