Exxon earnings up 6 percent, easily beating expectations, as refining offsets low oil prices

ExxonMobil Corp. profits rose 3 percent in the third quarter as strong refining performance offset lower revenues from falling oil prices and production.

The company said Friday it earned $8.07 billion on revenue of $107.49 billion in the third quarter. Last year during the same period, Exxon earned $7.87 billion on revenue of $112.37 billion.

On a per share basis, the company earned $1.89, up from $1.79 last year and far above the $1.71 per share analysts polled by FactSet had predicted on average.

Oil and gas production fell 4.7 percent compared with the same period a year ago, and lower prices reduced earnings by $670 million.

But profit at the company's refining operations, which makes chemicals and fuels, rose 38 percent in the quarter and boosted overall profit.