US group earnings up in 2006, down in year’s fourth quarter

Fourth-quarter and full-year 2006 earnings results were mixed for oil and gas firms based in the US and Canada. Factors cited by companies reporting earnings declines included lower production volumes, increased expenses, and lower refining margins.A group of US-based oil and gas producers and refiners reported lower collective earnings for the final 2006 quarter, but each group’s combined net income for the year climbed.For a sample of service and supply companies, most based in the US, earnings made sharp gains for 2006 and for the fourth quarter. These firms benefited from strong demand for equipment and supplies, and drilling contractors reported increased day rates and utilizat...

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