Exxon Mobil posts record profits By JOHN PORRETTO, AP Business Writer 41 minutes ago HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company — $40.6 billion — as the world's largest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at year's end. Exxon also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, besting its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. The previous record for annual profit was $39.5 billion, which Exxon Mobil reported for 2006. The eye-popping results weren't a surprise given record prices for a barrel of oil at the end of 2007. For much of the fourth quarter, they hovered around $90 a barrel, more than 50 percent higher than a year ago. Crude prices reached an all-time trading high of $100.09 on Jan. 3 but have fallen about 10 percent since. The record profit for the October-December period amounted to $2.13 a share versus $1.76 a share in 2006. Year-ago net income was $10.25 billion. Also extraordinary was Exxon Mobil's revenue, which rose 30 percent in the fourth quarter to $116.6 billion from $90 billion a year ago. For the year, sales rose to $404.5 billion — the most ever for the Irving, Texas-based company — from the $377.64 billion it posted in 2006. In a statement, Exxon Mobil Chairman Rex Tillerson said the company continued to meet the world's energy needs through its "globally diverse resource base." "Our long-term investment program, in projects often far from major consuming nations, continued to provide resources essential to the increasingly interdependent global energy supply network," Tillerson said. Exxon Mobil produces about 3 percent of the world's oil. Its shares rose $1.45, or 1.7 percent, to $87.85 in premarket trading.