French Oil Giant Surrenders to Falling Prices

Total, the largest French oil company, posts a 36% decline in the first quarter, hurt by the steep decline in oil prices.
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How do you say, "another oil giant is hit by the steep decline in oil prices" in French? We have no idea. We do know this:


(TOT) - Get Report

, the largest French oil company, today posted a 36% decline in the first quarter.

The news comes after

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

reported a 58% nosedive in first quarter earnings last week, its lowest level in over five years.


(COP) - Get Report

was also down 80%, while Europe's



Royal Dutch Shell

both declined 62%.

Total said it earned 2.29 billion euro from 3.6 billion euro in the year-ago period. Its sales fell 32% to 30 billion euro.

Replacement cost profit, a key measure of oil companies, depreciated 43% to $2.8 billion from $4.9 billion.

Brent crude averaged $96.48 a barrel in the first quarter of 2008 and reached almost $150 a barrel in July. Since then, however, prices have dropped steeply and at one point were $50.

On Wednesday oil prices traded above $54 a barrel.

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