Exxon Mobil Profit Sinks in First Quarter

Results reflect company's strategy of focusing on developing and delivering energy.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (IW 1000/1), the world's biggest private oil company, said Thursday that first-quarter earnings fell 11% as the company boosted spending on exploration.

Earnings were $9.45 billion in the first three months of the year, compared with $10.65 billion in the year-ago period.

Earnings of $2 a share widely missed Wall Street expectations of $2.09.

Revenue rose 9% to $124 billion, slightly below estimates.

Exxon Mobil chairman Rex Tillerson said the first-quarter results reflected the firm's strategy of focusing on developing and delivering energy needed to support job creation and economic growth.

"Despite continuing economic uncertainty, we are progressing our robust investment plans to meet the energy demands of the future," Tillerson said in a statement.

Exxon Mobil had $8.8 billion in capital and exploration spending, up 13 percent from the 2011 first quarter.

Oil-equivalent production fell more than 5%.

The earnings included asset sales of about $400 million and a $5 billion share buyback.

U.S. stocks were mixed in opening trade Thursday amid a series of uneven corporate earnings reports that included a big disappointment from Exxon Mobil.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 11.20 points (0.09%) to 13,101.92 in the first 10 minutes of trade.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.72 (0.12%) to 1,388.97, while the tech-rich Nasdaq added 6.92 (0.23%) to 3,036.55.

Exxon Mobil led a slew of quarterly reports announcing that its earnings fell 11%to $9.45 billion.

The company's shares fell 1.8% to $85.32.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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