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Exxon profits higher than expected

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest public energy company reported net income of $7.56 billion, or $1.60 a share, in the second quarter, up 91% from $3.95 billion, or 81 cents a share, in the same period in 2009.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.46 a share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

The results are linked to improved refining margins, an increase in output, and strong performance in the company’s chemicals business according to Exxon’s CEO.

The ongoing rebound in oil prices helped boost profits in Exxon’s oil production and exploration unit, where earnings rose $1.5 billion to $5.34 billion in the quarter. Oil prices averaged $78 a barrel in the quarter, up from $60 a barrel in the same period last year.

The results included a slight impact from Exxon’s recent purchase of XTO Energy, a natural gas company. The $36 billion deal closed on June 25.

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