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Mobil 3Q Profits Down 43 Percent

October 28, 1998

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ Mobil Corp.’s profits fell 43 percent in the third quarter as the price of crude oil went down by nearly a third.

The Fairfax-based energy company earned $509 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, in the quarter, down from $892 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue declined 17 percent to $13.7 billion from $16.4 billion.

The earnings came in slightly ahead Wall Street expectations, but the company’s shares closed off 81 1/4 cents at $72.81 1/4 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

``This quarter saw virtually all of our businesses experience sharp declines in industry fundamentals,″ said Lucio Noto, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. ``Crude oil prices were down about $6 per barrel and natural gas prices trended lower.″

The company’s gasoline sales in the United States were up 6 percent, outpacing the industry, he said.

Net income from the company’s exploration and producing division was $156 million compared with $473 million last year because of lower oil and natural gas prices.

Mobil also saw lower profit in its chemical division, which was down to $41 million from $151 million last year because of lower polyethylene and paraxylene prices.

Its marketing and refining division earnings were $362 million, up from $346 million in 1997.

For the first nine months of 1998, profits dropped 28 percent to $1.9 billion, or $2.28 per diluted share, from $2.6 billion, or $3.15 per share, for the same period last year.

Revenue for the first nine months declined 18 percent to $40.5 billion from $49.3 billion last year.

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