Exxon-Mobil Corp. (XOM), the country’s largest company in terms of market cap, beat earnings estimates on Monday morning. Though profits fell year-over-year by $1.77 billion to $6.05 billion, or $1.27 / share, the report still came in ahead of consensus estimates, which were pegged at $1.17 / share. S&P was expecting an even lower report of $1.13, and reiterated its Strong Buy opinion on the stock by Monday afternoon.
The oil giant reported overall average crude prices of $70.21 / barrel for the quarter, up 45% year-over-year. These higher prices added $1.8 billion to Exxon’s quarterly profit, but were offset by lower natural gas prices, which lowered profits by $1.2 billion. The company also bought back $2 billion in stock during the quarter, down from $8 billion a year ago.
Shares popped on news of the beat and ended the day up 2.72%, good for a close of $66.18. XOM hit an intermediate-term high of $76.54 on 11/25 before selling off more than 16% over the next two months, hitting a low of $64.02 on 1/29.
The recent dive notwithstanding, shares bucked their trend at an important point Monday, as the stock’s 50-day moving average was just about to cross down through it’s 200-day moving average, almost forming the ominous “dead-cross.” Additionally, RSI has turned upward after briefly crossing below the 30-level, possibly confirming Monday’s trading as a reversal of XOM’s downward trend.
Since Monday was the first day of strength in the broad market after a somewhat significant slide, it would be prudent to wait a few more days before making any moves. Perhaps the most powerful motivator in a given stocks trend is that of the overall market, and if the market is being pushed downward, many stocks that would have otherwise outperformed will move lower in sympathy. These corrections offer a great opportunity to put together some watch-lists of companies you are willing to make a move on once the market demonstrates that it has returned to an uptrend. Based on Monday’s trading, XOM should be on that list.
Disclosure: No position in XOM.