ExxonMobil profits rise on refining, chemicals

US oil giant ExxonMobil Friday reported higher fourth-quarter profits on better results in its refining and chemical divisions, which offset a drop in its exploration and production results.

ExxonMobil, the US's largest oil company, said net income for the fourth quarter came in at a $9.95 billion, up 6 percent from the year-earlier period of $9.4 billion.

The results overcame a five percent decline in ExxonMobil's oil-equivalent production compared with the year-earlier period.

ExxonMobil said overall profits in the exploration and production division, normally the cash cow of oil majors, fell 12 percent compared with $7.8 billion a year earlier.

Profits from its refining and marketing division came in at $1.8 billion, more than four times the previous year's level. Chemical sector earnings of $958 billion were up 76.4 percent.

Per-share profits came in at $2.20, compared with analyst forecasts of $2. Total revenues came in at $115.2 billion, roughly matching forecasts.

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