Exxon Mobil (XOM) Stock Advancing Today After Signing Two Ivory Coast Exploration Permits

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Exxon Mobil  (XOM) are advancing, higher by 2.72% to 88.76 in afternoon trading Wednesday, as Ivory Coast's government signed production sharing agreements with the oil giant for two ultra deep water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, Reuters reports.

The deal was for Ivory Coast's CI-602 and CI-603 blocks, as Exxon Mobil acquires offshore acreage.

"The maximum exploration period is nine years for each block and, in the case of a commercial discovery, the length of the contract will be 25 years," Oil and Energy Minister Adama Toungara said in a statement today, Reuters added.

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The Ivory Coast government held a promotional event in Houston, TX in October as it is seeks out investors for permits of seven new ultra-deepwater blocks, Reuters noted.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates EXXON MOBIL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EXXON MOBIL CORP (XOM) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • EXXON MOBIL CORP has improved earnings per share by 5.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EXXON MOBIL CORP reported lower earnings of $7.37 versus $9.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.63 versus $7.37).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 2.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $7,870.00 million to $8,070.00 million.
  • XOM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.12 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that XOM's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.55, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: XOM Ratings Report

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