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26

World Biggest Oil Player Lost Money

US energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp. today may report a decline

US energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp. today may report a decline in third-quarter net income compared with a year earlier.

The world biggest oil company's earnings probably fell for the first time in 10 quarters, dropping to $9.67 billion from $9.92 billion, said Daniel Barcelo, an analyst at Banc of America Securities in New York. Profit per share was expected to rise to $1.61, the average estimate from 21 analysts in a Thomson Financial survey, from $1.58 because buybacks reduced the number of shares outstanding.

Not counting the $1.62 billion gain on the 2005 asset sale, profit continued to climb. Barcelo estimated oil and natural-gas output rose 9.3 percent, the biggest increase since Exxon Corp.'s 1999 acquisition of Mobil Corp. U.S. oil futures set a record at $78.40 a barrel in July on growth in demand and concern that violence in Africa and the Middle East would disrupt supply.