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Exxon Mobil reported a better-than-expected increase in quarterly profit

January 31/2011

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp reported a better-than-expected 53 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped by a lower tax rate and an improving world economy that sparked higher demand for fuel and chemicals.


The Irving, Texas-based company's exploration and production results were also lifted by higher oil prices, which climbed 12 percent from a year earlier to average around $85 per barrel in the fourth quarter.


Exxon 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.


Shares of Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, rose 1 percent in premarket trading to $79.81, up from Friday's New York Stock Exchange close of $78.99.


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