Gas prices are soaring, and so are Exxon Mobil's profits. The oil giant raked in $10.65 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2011, its best performance since the gas price spike of 2008. The $2.14-per-share profit well exceeded analysts' $2.04 estimates, the AP reports. The company seems to be expecting a blowback, because it posted a blog post yesterday offering a preemptive response to "the inevitable headlines and sound bites about high gasoline prices."
In the post, VP of public and government affairs Ken Cohen protests that Exxon has little control over oil prices, which are set on the global market, or even gas prices at Exxon and Mobil stations, 95% of which are owned by local franchisees. "For every gallon of gasoline we sold in the United States in the last three months of 2010," he writes, "we earned a little more than 2 cents per gallon." He also says that the company has paid more in US taxes over the past five years than it has earned in the US.