Are you sure you aren't missing anything in there? Maybe a zero?The Nikon Fe is going to beat least 3 yers old now
Yeap, a CLA would correct it. BTW, "the camera's exposure compensation at -2". It should be the opposite: if the camera is underexposing by 2 stops, then you add +2 to compensate.
LR44 aren't recommended as alkaline batteries voltage output isn't stable: it diminishes gradually with use, potentially affecting meter readings. Use silver oxide or lithium batteries for a stable output. They should last for 2 years.