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Hess posts $566M 4Q profit, reverses loss

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hess Corp. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income was $566 million, reversing a loss in the same quarter a year ago, as hefty costs related to the shutdown of a refinery disappeared.

Profit amounted to $1.66 per share, compared with a loss of $131 million, or 39 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The 2011 quarter's results included marketing and refining losses of $525 million stemming from the shutdown of the Hovensa refinery, in which Hess held an interest.

Revenue and non-operating income rose 10 percent to $9.7 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected profit of $1.24 per share on $9.28 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Profits related to exploration and production fell 2 percent to $517 million. Production increased 8 percent to 396,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, helped by higher production from the Bakken oil shale and resumption of operations in Libya. But Hess' average worldwide crude oil selling price, including the effect of hedging, fell 6 percent to $84.46 per barrel.

Hess continues to shift its focus away from refining and toward exploration and production. Earlier this week it announced plans to close its New Jersey refinery, completing its exit from the refining business.

For the full year 2012, Hess earned $2.22 billion, or $6.52 per share, up from $1.7 billion, or $5.01 per share, in 2011. Total revenue and non-operating income rose to $38.37 billion from $37.87 billion.

Hess shares fell 79 cents to $67.32 in morning trading.