Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) Raised to “Strong-Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $82.00 price objective on the oil and gas company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ExxonMobil's bellwether status and an optimal integrated capital structure that has historically produced industry-leading returns make it a relatively lower-risk energy sector play. Recently, the energy giant made two new oil discoveries in the Stabroek Block, which will add to its 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels of recoverable resources from the block. The company also has a strong presence in the prolific Permian Basin, where it continues to lower its fracking & drilling costs. The company has significant lower debt exposure as compared to other integrated majors. ExxonMobil now expects higher sequential profits from its upstream operations in the recently-concluded December quarter. Also, it increased its fourth-quarter 2021 dividend to 88 cents per share. Consequently, ExxonMobil is viewed as a preferred energy firm to own now.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. The Goldman Sachs Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of Exxon Mobil in a report on Monday, January 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada set a $65.00 target price on Exxon Mobil in a report on Wednesday, December 1st. Truist Securities upgraded Exxon Mobil from a sell rating to a hold rating and increased their price target for the stock from $50.00 to $65.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 6th. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price target on Exxon Mobil from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, November 1st. Finally, Truist Financial upgraded Exxon Mobil from a sell rating to a hold rating and increased their price target for the stock from $50.00 to $65.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 6th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $66.98.

Shares of XOM stock traded up $1.05 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $71.68. The company had a trading volume of 716,552 shares, compared to its average volume of 27,903,494. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a current ratio of 0.90. Exxon Mobil has a twelve month low of $44.29 and a twelve month high of $71.81. The company has a market capitalization of $303.46 billion, a P/E ratio of -51.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.81 and a beta of 1.36. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $63.32 and its 200 day simple moving average is $60.37.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 28th. The oil and gas company reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.56 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $73.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $72.05 billion. Exxon Mobil had a positive return on equity of 8.66% and a negative net margin of 2.39%. Exxon Mobil’s revenue for the quarter was up 59.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted ($0.18) earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts expect that Exxon Mobil will post 5.07 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 12th were paid a dividend of $0.88 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 10th. This is a positive change from Exxon Mobil’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.87. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.91%. Exxon Mobil’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -253.24%.

In other news, insider James M. Spellings, Jr. sold 12,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.63, for a total transaction of $782,875.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Michael J. Angelakis bought 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $64.00 per share, with a total value of $320,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have bought 5,544 shares of company stock valued at $352,640 and have sold 28,400 shares valued at $1,771,158. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Exxon Mobil by 2.5% during the third quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC now owns 80,850 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $4,756,000 after purchasing an additional 1,961 shares during the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG boosted its position in Exxon Mobil by 33.5% during the third quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 16,479,686 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $969,335,000 after purchasing an additional 4,139,065 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in Exxon Mobil by 2.5% during the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 23,350,898 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,472,972,000 after purchasing an additional 577,935 shares during the last quarter. Adams Natural Resources Fund Inc. boosted its position in Exxon Mobil by 1.5% during the third quarter. Adams Natural Resources Fund Inc. now owns 1,273,630 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $74,915,000 after purchasing an additional 18,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Birch Hill Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in Exxon Mobil by 3.7% during the third quarter. Birch Hill Investment Advisors LLC now owns 80,434 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $4,731,000 after purchasing an additional 2,902 shares during the last quarter. 51.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil Corp. engages in the exploration, development, and distribution of oil, gas, and petroleum products. It operates through the following segments: Upstream, Downstream and Chemical. The Upstream segment produces crude oil and natural gas. The Downstream segment manufactures and trades petroleum products.

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