31 July, 2008

How much is Too Much? Exxon Mobil posts record Profit

A record profit for Exxon Mobil (XOM), but nonetheless an increase year-over-year that was smaller than expected by analysts. Smaller?!? The company made just shy of $11.7Billion in profit on $138Billion in Revenue. Both all-time highs, not only for Exxon but for any company in America's history!

And nonetheless the Street is not impressed. Granted the incredible spike in Oil Prices have driven most of the revenue upside, resulting in 40% year-over-year growth in the top line. Profit grew 14% ($2.22/share vs. $183/share last year) from the lasting effects of record high oil. Analysts were expecting $2.52/share for the quarter, however, to put things slightly in perspective; Exxon could buy Ford outright from this quarter's profit alone, or it could almost buy General Motors twice over. The sheer size of Exxon makes it an intriguing Investment, and one that shouldn't be unjustly punished by the market for breaking records.

Granted, a stock like this, with a market cap of $430Billion, isn't going to blow any doors off in terms of dramatic stock price growth, however, there isn't a more profitable company out there these days, and eventually all that cash is going to earn more in simple Interest than most companies through Operations. There are problems within Exxon, that's without a doubt, as most of the earnings increase came solely from the spike in Oil Prices (What happens when oil fully stabilizes?). The refining arm of the company saw dramatic margin degradation due to expansion in oil prices, but it is only natural when the upstream business expands, the downstream business will contract.

There's chances for money to be made here and Exxon in the low 80s is a comfortable buy. Oh and the company is also buying back a further $8Billion in stock, and it yields about 2%, and should be in a PE range of approximately 10-12 currently. Did I mention almost $12Billion in quarterly profit! No wonder a major election issue in the US is Taxing Big Oil.

Disclosure: Author holds no position in XOM

1 comment:

bugsy said...

This has been too much for a long long time. The rich are getting richer the poor are getting poorer. Not cool exxon, not cool.