BUSINESS

Lower production and prices cause Exxon Mobil's 3Q profit to dip 7 per cent to $9.57 billion

11/01/2012 08:53 EDT | Updated 01/01/2013 05:12 EST
IRVING, Texas - Exxon Mobil Corp.'s third-quarter profit fell 7 per cent as it produced less oil and gas and fetched lower prices.

The nation's biggest oil company said that net income totalled $9.57 billion, down from $10.33 billion a year earlier.

That works out to $2.09 per share. Analysts expected $1.95 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 8 per cent, to $115.71 billion, still better than the $112.40 billion that analysts had 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 per cent and lower prices also cut into profit.

The company spent 7 per cent 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.

Exxon shares closed Thursday at $91.60, up 43 cents. They have gained 8 per cent this year including a gain of 7 per cent in the third quarter.