Exxon tallies a first-quarter surge

Big oil just got bigger. Exxon Corporation, the world's largest company, reported that its first-quarter profits surged 102 percent over the first-quarter of 1979. Earnings were $1.925 billion ($4.40 per share) compared with $955 million, ($2. 16 per share) for last year's first quarter.

The earnings burst came from almost all of Exxon's operations. US refining and marketing operating profits increased from $38 million to $118 million while exploration and production net increased from $310 million to $530 million. Tanker operation profits also were up from $8 million to $20 million.

Overseas earnings also were much stronger. Refining and marketing surged from $197 million to $410 million and foreign chemical profits were up from $34 billion to $96 billion.The company also had a $314 million increase in net due to foreign-exchange gains, notably due to the stronger dollar, and a $70 million profit because of a tax refund in the United Kingdom. Reliance Electric, purchased last year for over $1 billion, added another $18 million in profits.

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