Exxon Mobil (XOM) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Sunday.

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, reflecting declining debt load over the first nine months of 2017. We appreciate ExxonMobil’s plans to combine its refining & marketing businesses as this will allow the company to take better decisions and boost performance. ExxonMobil will generate more cashflow from downstream activities, also helping it counter the volatility in its upstream business. However, dependence on costly offshore drilling might dent ExxonMobil’s cashflow. Also, ExxonMobil has lagged the broader industry over the past year, gaining a meagre 0.8% as against the 14.3% growth of the industry.”

XOM has been the subject of several other research reports. HSBC set a $80.00 target price on shares of Exxon Mobil and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday. Vetr raised shares of Exxon Mobil from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $87.50 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group set a $90.00 target price on shares of Exxon Mobil and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday. BNP Paribas set a $70.00 target price on shares of Exxon Mobil and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, September 25th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $88.00 target price on shares of Exxon Mobil and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $86.71.

Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) opened at $87.15 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.54. Exxon Mobil has a 1-year low of $76.05 and a 1-year high of $88.21. The stock has a market cap of $369,260.00, a PE ratio of 28.39, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 0.82.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The oil and gas company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.04. Exxon Mobil had a net margin of 5.14% and a return on equity of 8.21%. The firm had revenue of $66.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $63.51 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Exxon Mobil will post 3.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Robert N. Schleckser sold 4,877 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.37, for a total value of $406,595.49. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 187,663 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,645,464.31. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Robert N. Schleckser sold 5,601 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.93, for a total transaction of $470,091.93. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 187,663 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,750,555.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 51,357 shares of company stock valued at $4,273,910. Insiders own 0.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of XOM. CWH Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Exxon Mobil in the second quarter valued at approximately $114,000. Horan Securities Inc. raised its holdings in Exxon Mobil by 20.8% in the second quarter. Horan Securities Inc. now owns 1,511 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $122,000 after acquiring an additional 260 shares in the last quarter. Litman Gregory Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Exxon Mobil in the third quarter valued at approximately $131,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Exxon Mobil by 172.7% during the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,737 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. raised its holdings in Exxon Mobil by 2.7% during the second quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. now owns 1,900 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $153,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. 51.06% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil Corporation is engaged in energy business. The Company is engaged in the exploration, production, transportation and sale of crude oil and natural gas, and the manufacture, transportation and sale of petroleum products. The Company also manufactures and markets commodity petrochemicals, including olefins, aromatics, polyethylene and polypropylene plastics, and a range of specialty products.

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