Which Big Oil Stocks Have the Strongest Earnings Trends: Exxon, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, or Total?

Earnings trends are extremely important when evaluating stocks. At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we view increasing earnings quarter-over-quarter as a simple way to gauge whether costs and the business model are stable. Then we like to analyze whether the company is outperforming peers in the sector. This is what we call the “E-Squared” investment analysis (‘E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter’ + ‘E = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector’).

Stocks with improving earnings metrics are worthy of your extra attention. Click here to discover our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now!

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how the top 5 Big Oil stocks rank via earnings trends:

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM): Current Price $90.04

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 477,360 310,590 383,220 486,430 482,300
Diluted EPS ($) 8.66 3.98 6.22 8.42 9.70

Annual revenue at Exxon has grown sharply after 2009, and EPS is slowing but strong.

Next, our CHEAT SHEET investing framework asks us to drill down to the recent quarterly data:

Quarter Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 121,610 124,050 127,360 115,710 115,170
Diluted EPS ($) 1.97 2.00 3.41 2.09 2.20

Unfortunately, we see that quarterly revenue and EPS performance is rather jumpy. The September 2012 quarter saw a sharp decline in both revenue and EPS. Exxon is growing earnings quarter-over-quarter, so they are definitely worthy of deeper consideration…