StatOil's Net Income Falls

StatOil Hydro, like its peers, was affected by lower oil prices.
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The Norwegian national oil giant



reported Tuesday that its net income in the fourth quarter fell 67% compared to the same period a year ago.

StatoilHydro generated quarterly earnings of 2.00 billion kroner ($298 million), or 0.63 kroner per share, down from 6.15 billion kroner, or 1.93 kroner per share, one year earlier. A


survey of analysts had forecast a 409 kroner loss.

StatOil's American depositary shares were recently trading at $16.73, down $1.40, or 7.72%.

"The quarterly result was negatively affected by weaker oil prices," StatoilHydro said in a press release. "Furthermore, the significant strengthening of the US dollar compared to

the Norwegian kroner had a material negative effect on net financial items and consequently, the result became subject to an unusually high effective tax rate."

The company's net operating income for the quarter was 37.8 billion kroner, compared to 30.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007.

StatoilHydro CEO Helge Lund said that despite the fall in earnings, "StatoilHydro is well positioned to manage through the global economic downturn. A strong balance sheet and active cost management will enable us to pursue our long term strategic direction."

Europe's other major integrated energy firms also reported large earnings declines.

Royal Dutch Shell


generated its first quarterly earnings loss in 10 years.


(BP) - Get Report

also reported a net loss for the quarter.

American depositary shares of StatoilHydro were recently sliding 7.3% to $16.80 a share.