Exxon shares flatten out following big start as analysts weigh in

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

Some of the air went out of the Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) balloon during the trading day, as early gains of ~1.5% fueled by better than expected Q1 earnings slid slowly to just a 0.5% gain at the close.

Some analysts were not so enamored with the results upon closer inspection; as an example, Raymond James analysts kept their equivalent of a sell rating on XOM, citing lackluster production growth in coming years and other factors.

XOM’s "ultra-defensive characteristics (including a significant overweight in downstream and chemicals) inherently limit leverage to oil prices,” RJ said today. “Since we expect further oil recovery to cyclical highs in 2017, Exxon stands out as one of the least appealing ways to play that, irrespective of the [Q1] beat.”

Goldman Sachs said XOM's production was below its estimates, mainly on lower than expected oil and gas production outside North America.

Wells Fargo calls the Q1 results neutral for the stock, as XOM beat its expectations for downstream performance as chemicals fell short and upstream net income was in-line.