Exxon Mobil Corp. said its fourth-quarter net income fell 33 percent to $7.82 billion, on lower oil prices in the last months of 2008, but managed to break its own profit record for a U.S. company.

Exxon, the world's biggest nongovernmental oil company, reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, in spite of fourth-quarter earnings dropping 33 percent from a year ago.

The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which it set in 2007.

The profit was largely due to soaring oil prices, which reached nearly $150 a barrel in July before dropping around 70 percent in the second half of the year amid the growing global economic crisis.

ExxonMobil's financial strength continued to support its disciplined capital investment approach in the midst of a growing global economic slowdown, Exxon chief Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

The Irving, Texas-based company reported fourth quarter net income of $7.82 billion or $1.55 per share, compared to $11.66 billion or $2.13 per share in the same quarter of last year.

Revenue in the most-recent quarter fell 27 percent to $84.7 billion.

On average, analysts expected the company to earn $1.45 per share in the latest quarter on revenue of $69.1 billion.

Shares rose $1.50 or 1.95 percent to $78.50 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.