ExxonMobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that its net income fell 18 percent in the third quarter to $7.9 billion, compared to the same period in 2012.

The company's oil-equivalent production, however, rose 1.5 percent in the July-September period, compared to the same period in 2012.

"ExxonMobil's third quarter results reflect our continued progress across a diverse set of profitable growth opportunities, which positions us well to deliver shareholder value. We maintain a long-term perspective on our business with a relentless focus on operational excellence and disciplined investing," chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

Earnings per share, assuming dilution, came in at $1.79 in the third quarter, down 14 percent from the same period in 2012.

"Capital and exploration expenditures were $10.5 billion in the third quarter and $32.6 billion for the first nine months of 2013, in line with anticipated spending plans," Tillerson said.

ExxonMobil distributed $5.8 billion to shareholders in the third quarter via dividends and share repurchases to lower the share count.

The company said it purchased 34 million shares of its common stock for the treasury during the period.

Shares of ExxonMobil, one of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones industrial average, were up $1.71, or 1.93 percent, at $90.52 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. EFE