IRVING. Texas (
missed the Street consensus earnings per share by 8 cents in the first quarter, sending shares down in the pre-market session on Thursday morning.
Exxon reported a four-cent hit to earnings due to health care reform in the first quarter.
Exxon share loss in the pre-market was under 2%.
Exxon profits rose by 38% versus the prior year's first quarter, representing the first year over year increase since Exxon's record profit of $14.8 billion in the third quarter 2008.
Nevertheless, Exxon first quarter profit of $6.3 billion was well below its profit of $10.9 billion the first quarter of 2008. The first quarter profit was easily ahead of the first quart 2009, when Exxon profit was at $4.55 billion, or 92 cents per share, as higher oil prices in the first three months of the year helped the oil giant.
Exxon revenue spiked 41% to $90.3 billion, but was $6 billion below the Street consensus forecast.
The higher oil prices -- from a low of $33 last year to above $80 a barrel in the first quarter, led Exxon to boost production 4.5% in the first quarter of 2009.
Even with flat natural gas prices, Exxon said increased natural gas production boosted profits by $190 million.
-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.
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