ExxonMobil Profits Drop 58 in 4Q David McNew/Getty Images

ExxonMobil Profits Drop 58% in 4Q

As with other petroleum companies, ExxonMobil saw a massive decline in income from exploration and production of crude oil, known as "upstream" in oil parlance.

As plunging oil prices dented results in the ExxonMobil (IW 50/6) exploration and production business, the company reported a 58% drop in fourth-quarter earnings.

Earnings for the quarter came in at $2.8 billion as revenues fell 31.5% to $59.8 billion.

As with other petroleum companies, ExxonMobil saw a massive decline in income from exploration and production of crude oil, known as "upstream" in oil parlance. Earnings in this area fell to just $857 million from $4.6 billion in the year-ago period.

Those results were partially offset by better returns in "downstream," in which ExxonMobil processes crude oil into gasoline. Earnings for this business rose to $1.4 billion from $500 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

ExxonMobil's earnings, though lower, remained in positive territory. Chevron on Friday reported a $588 million loss for the fourth quarter. BP Tuesday reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter and a 2015 loss of $6.5 billion.

"While our financial results reflect the challenging environment, we remain focused on the business fundamentals, including project execution and effective cost management," said ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson.

ExxonMobil pledged to cut its 2016 capital budget to $23.2 billion, down 25% from the $31.1 billion spent in 2015, which itself was a reduction of 19% from the 2014 level.

For the year, ExxonMobil reported net income of $16.2 billion, about 50% below the 2014 profit.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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