TULSA, Okla. (Dow Jones/AP) — Williams Cos., which has 218 workers in Salt Lake City, Thursday said it narrowed its fourth-quarter loss as improvement at its core natural-gas businesses offset charges from its energy-trading segment.

The Tulsa-based natural-gas concern had a net loss of $66 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $219.2 million, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier.

The latest quarter included $66.8 million in pretax expenses from early debt retirement.

Revenue at the company, adjusted for an accounting change and a restatement for discontinued operations, soared to $3.53 billion from $1.12 billion a year earlier.

Williams shares fell 58 cents, or 5.8 percent, to end Thursday at $9.39 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Williams said combined profit from its main business of finding, producing, transporting and processing natural gas increased 38 percent to $244.4 million in the quarter.

The results include $41.7 million and $115 million of write-downs in 2003 and 2002, respectively, for some assets.

For the full year, Williams lost $504.5 million, or $1.03 a share, compared with a loss of $754.7 million, or $1.63 a share, in 2002. Revenue for 2003 surged to $16.81 billion from $3.72 billion a year earlier.