Exxon Q4 profit down 33 percent, tops Wall Street

A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded company, said on Friday its fourth-quarter net income fell 33 percent as a steep drop in crude oil prices hurt results.

Net profit in the quarter was $7.8 billion, or $1.55 per share, compared with $11.7 billion, or $2.13 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.45 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon and other energy companies have seen the record profits reaped in recent years vanish as average crude oil prices fell to about $59 a barrel in the fourth quarter from about $90 per barrel a year ago.

Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, editing by Dave Zimmerman