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Ask Matt: Should I buy ExxonMobil stock?

Q: What do you think of ExxonMobil stock?

A: ExxonMobil (XOM) lately is best known as being the company that Apple (AAPL) dethroned as the USA's most valuable and powerful corporation.

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chart type and compare Exxon Mobil Corporation ... (Strong Buy) 1.0 - 5.0 (Sell).

But while ExxonMobil no longer holds the perch as the company with the biggest market value, it's still a big draw for investors. For instance, Apple missed second-quarter earnings expectations, but ExxonMobil's better-than-expected results more than made up for the shortfall in terms of the effect on overall U.S. corporate earnings, according to S&P Capital IQ.

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8 Sep 2014 ... Apple and Exxon Mobil are the two most valuable companies in the world. Which
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Even so, ExxonMobil along with other energy stocks haven't had a great year. Shares of the leading U.S. energy company are up just 4.0%, which is pretty lackluster considering that the Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 11.6% this year. Energy stocks have been under pressure as investors fear a global economic slowdown could decrease the demand for oil.

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But you want to know if Exxon is an attractive addition to investors' portfolios? To find out, we'll put the stock through the four tests considered here, including:

Step 1: Risk vs. reward. When you take a risk on a stock, you want to make sure you're properly rewarded. Downloading ExxonMobil's trading history back to 1970, we see the company generated an average annual compound return of 1.0%. You can then add the current annual dividend yield of 2.6% to arrive at a potential 3.6% expected return. That's a pretty lackluster performance if you consider the S&P 500 returned an annualized 9.9% return over the same period, says.

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And to get that lower-than-average return, you had to take greater risk. You accepted added risk — standard deviation — of 25 percentage points. So, by investing in ExxonMobil, you took on 60% more risk to get a 64% lower return. That's not a good trade-off and will be a deal killer for many potential investors.

Step 2: Measure the stock's discounted cash flow. Some investors decide whether a stock is pricey by comparing its current price to the present value of its expected cash flows. It's a complicated analysis made simple with a system from NewConstructs.

When we run ExxonMobil's stock, we find it's rated "very attractive." In other words, the current stock price is well below the value of what the company is expected to generate in cash over its lifetime. NewConstructs charges for its reports, but is offering its ExxonMobil report free to Ask Matt readers. Using this popular stock valuation methodology, ExxonMobil would be a screaming buy.

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Step 3: Compare the stock's current valuation to its historical range. BetterInvesting's Stock Selection Guide can help. If the company can increase earnings 5.8% a year the next five years, that would put the stock in the "buy" range. This indicates ExxonMobil's stock is reasonably priced relative to the earnings the company is expected to generate.

Ten Reasons Warren Buffett Bought So Much Exxon Mobil Stock ...

14 Nov 2013 ... Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was just listed as a new holding of Berkshire
Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B). This is not just any new holding ...

Step 4: Check the company's financial health. Before investing in any company, you want to make sure it's in good financial shape. A quick way to check is to look at where it falls on the USA TODAY Stock Meter, which ranks stocks from conservative (1) to aggressive (5). ExxonMobil scores a solid 1.8 here. You can get a Stock Meter score for almost any stock by going to and putting the stock's ticker symbol or company name into the Get a Quote box.

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17 Aug 2014 ... Just about everyone can understand the basic investment thesis behind buying
ExxonMobil's stock: The company produces oil and gas, we ...

The bottom line: Any stock will have its fans and detractors. That's what makes a market, or so traders like to say. And ExxonMobil is one of those stocks that investors could either build a powerful case for or against.

Over the long term, the company's returns have been pretty disappointing relative to the broad stock market and to its level of risk. Meanwhile, those who study the company's profitability and cash flow see ExxonMobil as a gem. If you're an investor willing to take a chance on a big, well-known company, and think the economy could heal, ExxonMobil might be interesting. However, long-term investors looking to buy and hold will be better served with a different stock.

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Matt Krantz is a financial markets reporter at USA TODAY and author of Investing Online for Dummies and Fundamental Analysis for Dummies. He answers a different reader question every weekday in his Ask Matt column at To submit a question, e-mail Matt at Follow Matt on Twitter at:

How to Buy Exxon Mobil Stock Direct | eHow

How to Buy Exxon Mobil Stock Direct. Exxon Mobil is a publicly traded company
whose stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ...


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