ITWASSOOTED: Energy companies announce record profits amidst soaring prices for US consumers

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Energy companies announce record profits amidst soaring prices for US consumers

By Joseph Kay and Naomi Spencer
29 October 2005

This week, the major international energy companies announced sharp increases in profits for the third quarter. The energy giants are benefiting from a prolonged period of rising energy costs, exacerbated in September by the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The record profits are being paid directly from the pockets of millions of Americans, who face increased gasoline prices and the prospect of sharply higher home heating bills during the winter.

Leading the pack was ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company. Exxon reported third-quarter profits of $9.92 billion, 75 percent higher than its third-quarter earnings last year and the largest quarterly profit ever reported by a US company. The company also boasted revenues of more than $100 billion, another US record and a 32 percent increase over the company’s revenues in the second-quarter.

The Wall Street Journal on Friday noted that Exxon’s profits amounted to nearly $75,000 a minute, every minute, for the entire three months of the quarter (July, August and September). Exxon’s profit for the first nine months of the year, more than $25 billion, already exceeds its annual profit last year. The company made more money in the third quarter than all but eight companies in the S&P 500 made in all of 2004.

ExxonMobil was not alone in reaping huge profits for the quarter. Royal Dutch/Shell reported a company record of $9 billion, up 68 percent from last quarter; BP profits were up 34 percent to $6.53 billion for the quarter; ChevronTexaco reported a 53 percent increase to nearly $4 billion; and ConocoPhillips’s profits jumped 89 percent to $3.8 billion. These five multinational companies are the five largest energy companies in the world and dominate the US energy market.
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