Exxon profit slips in the fourth quarter

Exxon profit slips in the fourth quarter
In this Jan. 28, 2020, photo a Mobil sign is affixed to an Exxon Mobil fuel pump in Marlborough, Mass. Exxon Mobil Corp. reports financial results Friday, Jan. 31. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Exxon Mobil’s profit slid more than 5% in the fourth quarter, though the country’s biggest oil producer put up some strong revenue numbers.

Exxon Mobil earned $5.69 billion, or $1.33 per share, for the period. A year earlier the Irving, Texas, company earned $6 billion, or $1.41 per share. The current quarter included favorable items of 92 cents per share, which was mostly related to a $3.7 billion gain related to the Norway sale.

Removing the asset sale, per-share profit was 41 cents, shy of the 44 cents analysts were looking for, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue reached $67.17 billion.

Crude prices are down 14% since an Iranian missile attack on two military bases in Iraq housing American troops earlier this month. Over the past year, crude prices are off 2.4%.

The spread of the coronavirus from China to other regions is also pressuring the oil industry, as airline demand declines so does demand for jet fuel. While the situation remains in flux, analysts believe the market is pricing in weaker-than-expected global oil demand growth.

China made up 16.3% of the world economic output last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. When the SARS outbreak struck nearly two decades ago, China accounted for 4.3%.

Oil-equivalent production was in line with a year ago, at 4 million barrels per day. A 4% increase in liquids was offset by a 5% decrease in gas. Excluding entitlement effects and divestments, liquids production rose 2% on Permian Basin growth, while natural gas volumes fell 4%.