Mixed analyst reviews today on oil majors, Exxon seems to fare worst

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

Analysts were out with opinions on some of the oil majors, although their comments had little impact on stock prices with energy stocks broadly tumbling today and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) among the biggest drags on the Dow.

Oppenheimer came out in favor of CVX, reiterating its Outperform rating and raising its price target to $140 from $130 to reflect an improving operating and financial outlook; the firm was more muted on XOM, where returns are declining in part because capital spending and operating costs continue to rise, as the low-hanging fruit has been picked, and major project schedules continue to get longer, boosting unproductive capital.

Morgan Stanley wrote favorably about Total (NYSE:TOT) and Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), which the firm says offer particularly attractive combinations of free cash flow growth and dividend yield, while offering a pessimistic view of XOM and BP, seeing little reason to expect capex to come down for both, thus leading to more lackluster free cash flow prospects.