Denning: Exxon provides a port in Washington's storm

|About: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)|By:, SA News Editor

Should the worst happen - either next week or in six weeks - investors likely would rush for safety, and WSJ’s Liam Denning says it's "better to be on a supertanker than a speedboat" if a storm hits, suggesting hunkering down with unloved Exxon Mobil (XOM).

If a debt limit debacle rears up, what will matter most is that XOM retains a AAA rating, and net debt at the end of June was equivalent to ~20% of forecast 2013 EBITDA; the E&P sector is carrying an average net debt load of 2.2x 2013 EBITDA and looks set to outspend cash flow by 28% this year.

In the last government-inspired crisis, in 2011, XOM far outperformed E&P peers, Denning adds.