Amoco and Sohio Report Substantial Drops in Net

Amoco and Standard Oil (Ohio) reported double-digit declines for fourth-quarter and annual net income in 1985, citing causes ranging from dropping prices for oil and natural gas to one-time costs stemming from corporate reorganizations.

Amoco, the nation's fifth-largest oil company, reported that its net earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 declined to $390 million. That was 16% less than the $465 million posted in the same period of 1984.

Total revenue in the fourth quarter was $7.4 billion, compared to $7 billion in the same period a year earlier.

For all of 1985, Amoco had net earnings of $1.95 billion, compared to $2.18 billion in 1984, an 11% decline.

"Refining, marketing and transportation earnings reached a record high during 1985, but the improvement was more than offset by lower crude oil and natural gas prices, increased exploration charges and unfavorable foreign currency effects," the company said.

Amoco noted that foreign currency transactions accounted for $54 million in losses during 1985, while they accounted for $53 million in gains in 1984. Amoco also spent $742 million through its stock repurchase program.

Revenue totaled $28.9 billion in 1985, declining from $29 billion in the previous year.

Sohio, the nation's 12th-largest oil company, reported a $771-million net loss for the fourth quarter, chiefly because of special charges totaling $1.15 billion.

In the same quarter a year earlier, Sohio posted a profit of $290 million.

In December, Sohio reported that it would take a $1.15-billion after-tax charge against its fourth-quarter earnings to reflect costs in the reorganization of its mineral operations. Costs included expenses of a three-year modernization of copper mines in Utah, reassessment of values of some mineral reserves, staff reductions, regulatory measures associated with its Alaska oil operations and sales of some assets.

The Cleveland-based oil and mineral company posted fourth-quarter revenue of $3.68 billion, compared to $3.21 billion a year earlier.

For all of 1985, Sohio reported a profit of $308 million, compared to 1984's $1.49 billion. Sohio's 1985 revenue amounted to $13.82 billion, including $11.38 billion from the company's petroleum segment.

Sohio Chairman Alton W. Whitehouse said that, without special charges and unusual items, the company had an 11% fourth-quarter earnings increase over 1984.

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