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Exxon Mobil stock gains after Raymond James analyst backs off long-time bearish stance

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 4/14/2021 Tomi Kilgore
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MARKET PULSE

Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. rose 1.0% in premarket trading Wednesday, after Raymond James analyst James Jenkins backed away from his more-than two-year long bearish stance, citing the emergence of earnings momentum and "less negative" relative valuation. "With the recent downdraft in the stock (off ~10% over the past month), we think it's the right time to get less negative in our outlook for [Exxon Mobil]," Jenkins wrote in a note to clients. "1Q21 earnings indicators show a solid measure of improvement, pushing the company in the right direction of that part of the "show me" story." Jenkins upgraded the oil giant's stock to market perform after being at underperform since November 2018. He said he believes the risk-vs.-reward profile "skews less negative in the context of our relative optimism on oil prices," and the likelihood for a return to normal in Exxon Mobil's downstream business. Despite the selloff in the past month, Exxon Mobil's stock has hiked up 35.2% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has rallied 26.3%, crude oil futures have run up 26.2% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.3%.

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