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EOG Resources

(EOG) - Get EOG Resources, Inc. Report

is down big early on Wednesday after its earnings fell 13% in the fourth quarter.

The energy sector was only down by a small margin at the start of trading on Wednesday. EOG Resources saw 25% of its average daily volume of shares traded within the first 20 minutes of the market open on Wednesday.

EOG Resources's fourth-quarter earnings fell to $400.4 million, or $1.58 per share, in the last three months of 2009 from $461.5 million, or $1.84 per share, in the year earlier period. Excluding special items, adjusted earnings amounted to 92 cents per share, versus street estimates of between 94 cents and 98 cents.

EOG Resources beat the street on revenues, up 7.8% to $1.76 billion, from $1.63 billion in the prior-year period. Analysts polled by


had forecast lower revenue of $1.33 billion.

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The only good news for investors was that EOG Resources announced it would increase its quarterly dividend to 15.5 cents per share, a 7% increase, for an annual dividend payout of 62 cents. Although the dividend increase, it's worth noting, was not much of a surprise -- it was the 11th dividend increase in 11 years.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.


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