Hess dives on weaker Q1

Numbers down: profit drops at Hess, chaired by John B Hess

Shares in Hess Corporation took a beating on Wednesday after the New York-based outfit revealed a large drop in profit as revenues shrank.

The weaker figures were set against the backdrop of a rise in both average oil and gas prices but production slumped.

Net profit for the three months to the end of March was $560 million as against $974 million in the first quarter of 2011.

This was largely due to a drop in revenues from $10.22 billion to $9.68 billion as average production sank from 399,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 397,000 boepd.

The average oil price in the first quarter of this year was $89.92 per barrel as compared with $87.22 a barrel one year ago. For gas the number jumped from $5.84 per million cubic feet to $6.23 mcf.

The weaker result sent shares crashing over 7% in morning trading on the NYSE.

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