Zacks Investment Research Lowers Exxon Mobil (XOM) to Hold

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Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “ExxonMobil has a leading position in the energy industry owing to the size and diversity of its asset base, both in terms of business mix and geographical footprint. With a stable cash position, the company’s balance sheet is one of the best in the industry. This has allowed ExxonMobil to reward stockholders with a 6.3% average annual dividend hike over the past 35 years. The company owns some of the most prolific upstream assets globally along with the largest global refining operations. Notably, ExxonMobil continues to gain on ramped-up oil-equivalent production from Hebron field. However, significant turnaround activities are expected to hurt the company’s throughput volumes. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil’s exit from a joint venture in Russia could limit upside. Therefore, considering the lack of near-term catalysts, ExxonMobil stock is expected to perform in line with the broader market”

XOM has been the subject of several other reports. Societe Generale set a $92.00 price objective on shares of Exxon Mobil and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 22nd. HSBC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $96.00 price objective on shares of Exxon Mobil in a report on Wednesday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Exxon Mobil and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, September 6th. BNP Paribas set a $85.00 price objective on shares of Exxon Mobil and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 4th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $93.00 price objective on shares of Exxon Mobil in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $87.08.

Shares of Exxon Mobil stock traded down $0.22 on Friday, hitting $81.38. The company had a trading volume of 14,886,661 shares, compared to its average volume of 12,991,509. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.51. The stock has a market capitalization of $360.27 billion, a PE ratio of 22.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.86. Exxon Mobil has a 52 week low of $72.15 and a 52 week high of $89.30.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.26 by ($0.34). The company had revenue of $73.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $71.66 billion. Exxon Mobil had a net margin of 7.64% and a return on equity of 8.45%. The company’s revenue was up 26.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.78 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Exxon Mobil will post 4.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Bradley W. Corson sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.02, for a total transaction of $1,260,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 214,774 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,045,311.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.08% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Private Capital Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Exxon Mobil by 23.2% in the 3rd quarter. Private Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 41,619 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $3,412,000 after buying an additional 7,838 shares during the period. Canton Hathaway LLC acquired a new position in Exxon Mobil in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA increased its stake in Exxon Mobil by 8.3% in the 3rd quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 366,633 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $31,171,000 after buying an additional 28,102 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Exxon Mobil by 36.4% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,317,473 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $452,092,000 after buying an additional 1,420,065 shares during the period. Finally, Busey Trust CO increased its stake in Exxon Mobil by 2.5% in the 3rd quarter. Busey Trust CO now owns 202,339 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $17,203,000 after buying an additional 4,963 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.48% of the company’s stock.

Exxon Mobil Company Profile

Exxon Mobil Corporation explores for and produces crude oil and natural gas in the United States, Canada/Other Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. It operates through Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical segments. The company also manufactures petroleum products; manufactures and markets commodity petrochemicals, including olefins, aromatics, polyethylene, and polypropylene plastics, as well as various specialty products; and transports and sells crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products.

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