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Wednesday 03rd of February 2010
February 1, 2010    

Exxon posts 23% fall in Q4 profits

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by Kay Murchie
Exxon posts 23% fall in Q4 profits

Exxon Mobil, which is the world’s largest oil company, has today announced a 23% fall in fourth quarter profits.

The company reported profits of $6.05 billion (£3.8 billion) for the three months to December 31, compared with $7.82 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Revenues grew 7% to $89.84 billion exceeding analysts expectations and up from the $84.7 billion in the same period a year ago.

A slump in demand for fuel in the global economic slowdown hit the company’s refining business.

Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s chairman said: “In addition to our robust investment program, we distributed a total of $26 billion to shareholders in 2009 through dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.

“This reflects a seven per cent increase in annual per share dividends and an overall reduction in shares outstanding of five per cent and reaffirms our commitment to creating value for shareholders,” he added.

In December, the company agreed to purchase XTO, a natural-gas producer, in a deal worth $31 billion. The group said the deal will “enhance Exxon Mobil’s position in the development of unconventional natural gas and oil resources”.

The deal, which is subject to XTO shareholder and regulatory approval, is its first major acquisition since its merger with Mobil over a decade ago.

Rival oil giants Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and BP will report their fourth quarter profits later this week.

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