ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), the world's largest publicly held corporation, is certainly the oil industry's top dog. However, during the most recent quarter, while the company's earnings jumped by 38% year on year, it nevertheless lagged behind some of its peers. Is this dog losing some of its bite?

For the quarter, the company earned $6.3 billion, or $1.33 per share, compared with $4.55 billion, or $0.92 a share, a year ago. At the same time, the company's revenues increased to $90.25 billion from $64.03 billion in the same quarter a year ago. However, the Wall Street analysts who follow the company had expected earnings of $1.39 a share along with $6 billion of additional revenue.

From a comparison perspective, BP (NYSE: BP) more than doubled its earnings from a year ago, as did ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP). Beyond that, Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) came within shouting distance of tripling its results from the first quarter of 2009. But then, Occidental does not operate refineries, the bugaboo of the more integrated companies of late. Chevron (NYSE: CVX) just reported hours ago that it, too, more than doubled earnings, increasing its bottom line 147% to $2.27 per share.

ExxonMobil earned $5.8 billion in its upstream (exploration and production) segment, an increase of $2.3 billion from the comparable quarter last year. Higher crude oil prices benefited the company, while its gas realizations declined somewhat year on year. However, on an oil-equivalent basis, Exxon's total production was 4.5% higher year on year.

At the same time, natural gas production was nearly 15% higher, thanks to increased production in Qatar and higher demand in Europe. If, as is expected, ExxonMobil completes its acquisition of gas producer XTO Energy (NYSE: XTO) during the current quarter, its gas production is likely to be considerably higher in 2010 and beyond than it has been in recent years.

As noted, a weak refining environment beset most of the major oil companies during the first quarter. Exxon earned $37 million from this segment, down $1.1 billion from last year. At the same time, chemical earnings were substantially higher than a year ago, based on both stronger margins and increased volumes.

So, this wasn't a perfect quarter for Exxon. Earnings are still well below all the quarters in 2006 through 2008. However, this remains a solid, well-managed company; one that Fools with a thirst for energy should continue to watch very, very carefully.

Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't have financial interests in any of the companies mentioned. He does solicit your questions or comments. The Fool owns shares of XTO Energy. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that carries far more weight than your Hefty bags.