Exxon Mobil (XOM) announced a first quarter profit growth of 17 percent in spite of the fact the company said it was not aided by higher gas prices. The world’s second largest publicly traded oil company earned $10.9 billion during its first quarter. This is the second largest quarterly profit ever reported by a US company, which obviously attracts attention from the stock trading markets. The all-time high was Exxon’s $11.7 billion earnings from the fourth quarter of 2007. Exxon and other major oil companies have been targeted by government officials and consumer watch groups who say it is not fair for oil companies to experience record profits while consumers are seeing record prices at the pump. Exxon said it has not really benefited from high consumer prices because the company itself relies on purchasing highly priced crude oil from other markets.
Verizon Communications (VZ) announced a first quarter profit rise of 9.8 percent during its first quarter of 2008, compared to the same quarter last year. This amounted to earnings of $1.64 billion for the period that ended March 31. The company credited a gain of 1.5 million new wireless subscribers with much of the impact on profit. The strong earnings gave the company’s stock help. The company’s earnings amounted to 57 cents per share. Last year’s first quarter saw earnings of $1.5 billion, or 51 cents per share. After excluding items, earnings per share were 61 cents, which equaled analyst expectations. Some long-term stock trading strategies rely on meeting or exceeding analysts estimates in order for the trader to feel secure with the stock in their trading portfolio.