Tough Times for the Exxon Tiger

As profits plummet, the biggest oil company cuts back

Exxon Corp. announced last week that its second-quarter profits totaled $885 million. At almost any other company, such a performance would be cause for frenzied backslapping and fat bonuses. But at the world's largest industrial corporation, which earned $1.8 billion during the same period last year, there were no celebrations. In fact, the plunge in profits has forcecd Exxon to conserve cash by slashing its work force, cutting back on advertising and reducing executive perks. Hurt by sluggish demand for petroleum products and a string...

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