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ConocoPhillips earns $1.2B in a quarter

NEW YORK — ConocoPhillips says it earned $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter as higher oil prices offset lower prices for natural gas.

The nation’s third-largest oil company said today it earned 81 cents a share in the final three months of 2009. That compares with a loss of $32 billion, or $21.37 a share, as crude oil prices tanked in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $43.6 billion.

Analysts expected fourth-quarter earnings of $1.13 a share on revenue of $40.5 billion.

For the full year, ConocoPhillips posted earnings of $4.85 billion, or $3.24 a share, compared with a loss of $17 billion, or $11.16 a share in 2008.

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