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Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) posted modestly stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Friday, but noted an increase in production rates offset a tough comparable prices for global crude markets. 

Exxon said earnings for the three months ending in June came in at 73 cents per share, down 20.6% from the same period last year but 1 penny ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Exxon said, slipped 6% from last year as oil prices fell, but still beat the Street with a $69.091 billion tally.

Exxon said its overall oil equivalent production rose 7% from last year to the equivalent of 3.9 million barrels of oil per day,  as liquids productions in the shale-rich Permian basin grew 8% and natural gas volumes rose 5%.

"We continue to make significant progress toward delivering our long-term growth plans," said CEO Darren Woods. "Our new U.S. Gulf Coast steam cracker is exceeding design capacity by 10 percent, less than a year after startup. Our upstream liquids production increased by 8% from last year, driven by growth in the Permian Basin, and we are preparing to startup the Liza Phase 1 development in Guyana, where the estimated recoverable resource increased to more than 6 billion oil-equivalent barrels."

Exxon shares were marked 1.3% lower following the earnings release to change hands at $71.54 each by mid-day Friday, a move that would trim the stock's year-to-date gain to around 5%

West Texas Intermediate crude prices have fallen around 2.7% over the three months ending in June, with an average price of around $60 per barrel, according to Energy Department data. Last year, prices rose 14% and averaged around $68 per barrel. 

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