Irving-based Exxon Mobil’s third-quarter profit fell 7 percent as it produced less oil and gas and fetched lower prices. The nation’s biggest oil company said net income totaled $9.57 billion, down from $10.33 billion a year earlier. That works out to $2.09 a share, topping analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.95, according to FactSet, but Exxon’s shares (ticker: XOM) were down 33 cents to $90.84 in early trading.
Revenue fell 8 percent, to $115.7 billion, also better than the $112.4 billion analysts forecast. The weak global economy has lowered demand for everything from gasoline to jet fuel. Fear about future growth has undercut prices for oil and natural gas.
Exxon’s business of refining oil and selling gasoline and other products earned more, but that was offset by a big drop in the exploration-and-production end of the company. Oil and gas production fell 7.5 percent and lower prices also cut into profit. The company spent 7 percent more on capital expenses and exploration, up to $9.18 billion. Exxon spent $5.1 billion in the quarter to buy back 58 million shares, which boosted the value of remaining stock.
-- The Associated Press