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01-30-2006, 07:49 PM
By STEVE QUINN
AP Business Writer

Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company on Monday _ $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year _ as the world's biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from high oil and gas prices and demand for refined products. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations and Exxon shares rose nearly 3 percent in morning trading.

The company's earnings amounted to $1.71 per share for the October- December quarter, up 27 percent from $8.42 billion, or $1.30 per share, in the year ago quarter. The result topped the then-record quarterly profit of $9.92 billion Exxon posted in the third quarter of 2005.

Exxon's profit for the year was also the largest annual reported net income in U.S. history, according to Howard Silverblatt, a stock market analyst for Standard & Poor's. He said the previous high was Exxon's $25.3 billion profit in 2004.

Exxon's results lifted the combined 2005 profits for the country's three largest integrated oil companies to more than $63 billion.

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