Does Exxon Mobil Have a Bright Future?

With shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) trading around $102, is XOM an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Exxon Mobil is a manufacturer and marketer of commodity petrochemicals like olefins, aromatics, polyethylene, and polypropylene plastics, as well as a range of specialty products. The company has a number of divisions and affiliates with names that include ExxonMobil, Exxon, Esso, and Mobil, which operate or market products in the United States and other countries. Exxon Mobil’s principal business is energy, involving the exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas; manufacture of petroleum products; and transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products.

Exxon Mobil has reported it will invest $1 billion to install a delayed coker unit at its 320,000-b/d Antwerp, Belgium, refinery. The unit, which will convert heavy, higher sulfur residual oils into transportation products such as marine gas oil and diesel fuel, comes as part of Exxon Mobil’s long-term strategy to help the refinery better compete in Europe’s challenging industry environment, the company said. While European refiners currently are experiencing weak margins and industry-wide losses as a result of excess refining capacity amid diminished demand, Exxon Mobil said its investment for the coker at Antwerp will directly address a shortfall in regional refiners’ capability to convert fuel oil to products such as diesel. Along with a recently completed 130-Mw cogeneration unit and a diesel hydrotreater, the addition of the coker will bring the company’s total investments into the Antwerp complex to more than $2 billion in less than a decade, said Jerry Wascom, incoming president of Exxon Mobil Refining & Supply Co. In line with the company’s projection that trucking and other commercial transportation will sustain Europe’s high demand for diesel in the coming decades, Exxon Mobil said the Antwerp project is the first of several under consideration to further strengthen its strategic European refineries.