Exxon Mobil profits plunged in the third quarter by the most since the first three months of 2004, when oil was $35 a barrel. The behemoth's quarterly report, released today, sent Exxon shares diving. The drop was caused by equipment and power failures, as well as a narrowing profit margin due to falling retail gas prices and rising crude prices, reports Bloomberg.
Retail gas prices fell 6% in the third quarter, while crude prices rose above $80 a barrel, squeezing the oil giant. Two-thirds of analysts Bloomberg surveyed say that Exxon's four-year run of record annual earnings is likely at an end. Exxon's "been posting record results so you had to expect they would come off a little bit,'' said one analyst.