ConocoPhillips narrows loss as it cuts costs

HOUSTON (AP) — Cost cuts and rising oil prices helped narrow losses at ConocoPhillips in the fourth quarter, sending shares higher in early trading.

The Houston company has pulled back on oil exploration, drilling and other projects around the world with U.S. crude prices hovering around $50 per barrel, half what they were less than three years ago. ConocoPhillips spent $343 million on exploration in the quarter, compared with $2.1 billion in the same period a year ago. Total costs fell 39 percent to $7.26 billion.

That freeze has begun to that as prices edge higher. Crude prices are up 19 percent in the past three months.

Overall, the company reported a loss of $35 million, or 3 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $3.45 billion, or $2.78 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Losses, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 26 cents per share, better than the loss of 38 cents per share that analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

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Revenue rose 7 percent to $7.25 billion, which did not meet Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.28 billion.

For the year, losses narrowed to $3.62 billion, or $2.91 per share. Revenue was $24.36 billion.

Shares of ConocoPhillips are up about 33 percent from a year ago.


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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on COP at