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ExxonMobil Profits Fall


Lower prices for oil and gas drove Exxon Mobil Corp.'s third-quarter profit down 29 percent, missing Wall Street expectations. Revenue fell nearly 10 percent from a year ago.

ExxonMobil, operator of more than 4,000 convenience stores, said net income fell to $3.18 billion down from $4.49 billion, or 63 cents per share, in last year's third quarter. Those figures included $140 million in costs this related to the Exxon-Mobil merger, and $200 million in gains last year from sales of assets forced by the merger.

Excluding those and other one-time items, profits fell about 23 percent to $3.32 billion, from $4.29 billion a year earlier, the company said. Revenue totaled $53.01 billion, down from $58.57 billion a year ago.

The company said lower earnings reflected lower prices for crude oil and natural gas, with oil prices dropping sharply in the last half of September due to an oversupply.

"Exxon Mobil produced solid results in an adverse economic and commodity price environment," Lee R. Raymond , chairman of ExxonMobil. He noted that crude oil prices dropped in the last half of September to their lowest levels in nearly two years.

Analysts said weak demand for oil and gas was likely to persist, creating a drag on oil company earnings.

"There's no question demand next year will be softer than this year, demand next quarter will be softer than this quarter," Fadel Gheit, an analyst with Fahnestock & Co., told the Associated Press. "As long as the economy remains weak, this puts pressure on prices, margins and earnings."
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