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Production drop hits Exxon results

HOUSTON — For the fourth quarter in a row, Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday reported lower profit because of falling production volumes and disappointing earnings from its international refining and chemicals businesses.

But analysts said the results exceeded expectations in large part because the company succeeded in cutting costs, particularly in exploration for oil and gas, which helped increase the company’s profitability. Rising US natural gas prices, largely because of cold winter, also helped Exxon Mobil, which is the largest domestic gas producer.

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Exxon Mobil’s oil and gas production declined 5.6 percent compared with a year ago. Exxon, based in Texas and still the largest domestic oil company, reported first-quarter net income of $9.1 billion, reduced from $9.5 billion a year ago. Revenue eased slightly to $106.8 billion, from $108.8 billion a year ago.

Exxon’s shares fell $1.00 to $101.41.

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