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ExxonMobil Continues to Gain as UBS Lifts Rating to Neutral

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Energy major ExxonMobil (XOM - Free Report) gained ground and continued to scale higher after its rating was upgraded by investment bank UBS AG (UBS - Free Report) .

On Jan 18, UBS analyst Jon Rigby has downgraded ExxonMobil stock to sell. However, on Sep 6, the integrated energy firm’s rating was lifted to neutral. Also, Rigby raised ExxonMobil’s target price from $75 to $76.

After touching the lowest closing price of $76.10 in 19 months on Aug 30, ExxonMobil gained almost 4% over the last five days. Hence, the rating upgrade helped ExxonMobil to maintain its winning streak.

On Sep 6, among all the components of Dow Jones Industrial Average, ExxonMobil gained the maximum after the likes of The Home Depot (HD - Free Report) , Chevron (CVX - Free Report) and Intel (INTC - Free Report) . Shares of ExxonMobil rose slightly more than 2%, while Home Depot, Chevron and Intel rallied a respective 2.4%, 2.2% and 2.1%. It can also be concluded that ExxonMobil’s rally had considerably backed Dow Jones’ 54.33 points increase on the day.

It is to be noted that the rating upgrade had come despite ExxonMobil’s 12.5% decline on a year-to-date basis, underperforming the industry’s 4% fall. Rigby projects a gradual improvement in crude price and margins from downstream business on rising demand. These favorable macro-economic scenarios will support ExxonMobil, according to the UBS analyst.

Irving, TX-based ExxonMobil is the world’s best run integrated oil company based on its track record of high return on capital employed. As the largest publicly traded oil company, ExxonMobil has long been a core holding for investors seeking defensive as well as continued dividend growth.

However, dependence on costly offshore drilling might dent ExxonMobil’s cashflow.

As a result, the company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that the stock will perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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