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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Exxon Mobil profits disappoint
Oil rig
Surging profits topped off a record year for Exxon
Energy giant Exxon Mobil has seen high gas and oil prices push first quarter profits to a new record - but they still missed Wall Street forecasts.

It made a net profit of $8.4bn (4.7bn) between January and March, up from $7.86bn a year ago.

But Exxon shares fell by over 1% in early trading because analysts had predicted a profit of over $9bn.

In January Exxon reported an annual profit of $36bn, the highest in US corporate history.

Oil companies have struck a profits bonanza in recent years as oil prices have risen from about $20 a barrel in 2002 to over $70 a barrel in recent months.

Exxon said its first quarter oil and gas production rose by 5%, helped by greater volumes from projects in West Africa and Qatar.

The main downside to its results were the lower margins seen from its chemicals division.

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