NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Report stock is rising by 0.08% to $88.53 in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, as the oil and gas company prepares to report 2016 first quarter earnings before the market open on Friday.

Analysts have forecast for a year-over-year decline in both earnings and revenue.

Analysts anticipate that Exxon's earnings will fall to 31 cents per share for the most recent quarter from $1.17 per share in the year-ago period. Revenue is expected to drop to $45.42 billion from $67.62 in the 2015 first quarter.

Investors will be looking to the world's largest publicly traded oil company's earnings for a sense of its outlook for oil prices, which have recovered somewhat this year from losses in 2015 and 2014.

"They will need to see oil toward $50 a barrel before being more aggressive with exploration and production plans ... but they will be a bit more positive," Bill Selesky, an analyst with Argus Research, told MarketWatch.

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Earlier this week, S&P lowered Exxon Mobil's credit rating to AA+ from AAA to reflect lower oil prices' threat to its dividends and stock repurchase programs, but this shouldn't have a material financial impact on the company, analysts at Tudor Pickering wrote in a note. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C.

Exxon's strengths such as its reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures are countered by weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: XOM

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author. 

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