Marathon Breaks Even On Quarter, Slashes Capital Budget

Marathon Oil Corp. reported late Wednesday fourth-quarter earnings of $926 million, or $1.37 a share, compared with 54 cents a share a year ago. Adjusted for one-time losses, Marathon broke even on the quarter, compared with a profit of 60 cents a share a year ago. The company reported revenues of $2.50 billion, compared with $2.55 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 4 cents a share on sales of $2.26 billion. In the face of sliding oil prices, the company said it is reducing its 2015 capital program a further 20% to $3.5 billion "to protect our financial flexibility," Chief Executive Lee Tillman said in a statement. "Marathon Oil is well prepared -- we re-shaped our portfolio to concentrate on higher margin, higher return opportunities and have the optionality to adjust our short-cycle investments in line with commodity volatility," Tillman said. Shares of Marathon fell 0.5% in after-hours trading.

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