Exxon Mobil Posts Biggest Annual Profit in U.S. Corporate History

Exxon Mobil achieved the largest annual profit ever posted by a U.S. company in 2006, thanks largely to the year's extraordinarily high energy prices.

For the year, Exxon's net income was $39.13 billion, up 9.3% from last year. Revenue increased 1.9% to $377.64 billion. The record-setting results came despite fourth-quarter earnings that fell 4.3% year-over-year on lower natural gas prices and shrinking gasoline margins.

Exxon Mobil's record results came amid very high energy prices in 2006, with crude oil topping $78 a barrel in the summer -- driving up average gasoline prices in the United States to more than $3 a gallon. Prices retreated later in the year, and contributed to the decline in the latest quarter.