- 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.
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