Oil and gas supermajor Exxon Mobil (XOM) is another humongous name that's looking primed for a dividend hike in 2013. Exxon currently ranks as the biggest energy company on earth, with reserves of more than 17.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent on its balance sheet at last count. The firm currently pays out a 57-cent quarterly dividend for a 2.5% yield.
Exxon is the prototypical oil and gas supermajor. The firm's integrated operations mean that XOM is involved in everything from pulling crude out of the ground to refining it to selling gasoline at retail gas stations -- and while integrated operations do have dilutive effects on margins versus a straight E&P play, they do boost profits on an absolute level. With oil prices still sitting in the upper end of their historic price range, Exxon is enjoying high levels of profitability right now. The firm has historically done a good job of passing on that profitability to shareholders.Exxon's reserves have gotten skewed more heavily toward natural gas in recent years, a move that's added some welcome -- if poorly timed -- diversification to the firm's commodity exposure. Even though natgas prices have slid along historic lows for the last few years, XOM is well positioned long-term. Investors should keep an eye out for a dividend hike in short order.
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