NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
High oil prices lifted Exxon Mobil to record quarterly profits, although its results only matched Wall Street expectations for the period.
The company said Thursday it earned net income of $5.8 billion, or 88 cents a share, in the second quarter, up from $4.2 billion, or 62 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. That was in line with forecasts of analysts surveyed by earnings tracker First Call.
The company posted higher net income in the first quarter 2003, but special items lifted results then. The latest earnings were the company's largest quarterly amount excluding special items, Exxon Mobil said. The previous record profit excluding special items came in the first quarter of 2004, when it earned $5.4 billion.
The company announced it would be using some of the strong first-half earnings to buy back its own shares. It increased its share repurchase target for the third quarter to $2.9 billion from the $1.9 billion repurchase level it had for the second quarter.
Revenue rose to $70.7 billion, up from $57.2 billion a year earlier.
Earnings from the exploration and production side of the business was $3.8 billion, up $1.0 billion from year-earlier results due to the higher average crude and natural gas prices. Earnings from the refining and sales side of the business rose to $1.5 billion from $1.1 billion a year earlier. The chemical business earned $607 million, up from $439 million a year earlier, due to wider profit margins and record sales volumes.
Shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM: up $0.07 to $45.88, Research, Estimates), a component of the Dow Jones industrial average, were slightly higher in early trading Thursday.