Shares of Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, fell 2.2 percent in premarket trading to $74.59, hit by a more than 4 percent slide in the price of crude oil. Exxon reported that fourth-quarter profit tumbled to $2.78 billion, or 67 cents per share, from $6.57 billion, or $1.56 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The 2015 fourth-quarter profit was the smallest since September 2002.
Crude oil prices have dropped about 70 percent from the 2014 high over $100 barrel. Current prices at around $30 barrel have triggered a wave of spending cuts as oil companies slash investment in new wells and projects to conserve cash. Exxon sees capital spending at around $23.2 billion this year, a 25 percent drop from 2015.