Exxon Profits Drop 23 Percent

Exxon Corp.'s third-quarter profits sank 23 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.82 billion a year earlier, pulled down by the weakest oil prices in more than a decade.

On a per-share basis, Exxon (XON) earnings dropped to 58 cents from 74 cents, in line with estimates of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. Sales fell to $28.8 billion from $32.7 billion.

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Exxon, the largest publicly owned oil company, said the average price of crude oil plummeted $6 a barrel from a year earlier. Worldwide liquids production remained flat at 1.55 million barrels a day.

Natural gas prices also declined, as did chemicals.

The drop in prices is hampering the results of companies throughout the industry and forcing firms to consider mergers or other arrangements to trim costs and boost profits. Exxon, long considered perhaps the best run oil company, has done better than most of its competitors, but it's also facing pressure.

Exxon stock, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 1 11/16 to 76 9/16 on Tuesday.

Written By Jeffry Bartash