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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 26, 2012 3:02 am

Exxon streak of profit gains may have ended in 1Q

By The Associated Press

Exxon's money-making machine could be slowing down a bit.

The world's largest publicly traded energy company is expected this morning to report that profit slipped to $2.10 per share from $2.14 per share a year earlier. Exxon's quarterly profit hasn't declined year over year since the fourth quarter of 2009.

Revenue should grow nearly 10 percent to around $125 billion, analysts predict, as oil prices remain high. But Exxon is producing less oil than in the past.

It is producing more natural gas. In fact, Exxon has become the largest producer of the fuel in the U.S. But the price of natural gas has dropped sharply since last summer, eroding profit margins.

Exxon Mobil Corp. gave investors good news Wednesday. It raised their quarterly dividend 21 percent to 57 cents.