Pres. Trump cheers Exxon plan to spend $20B on Gulf Coast projects

Mar 09, 2017, 00:36
Pres. Trump cheers Exxon plan to spend $20B on Gulf Coast projects

The Stock has YTD (year to date) performance of -7.39 percent. But early in 2017, with new leadership and a new emphasis on domestic US projects, Exxon's fortunes may be improving, in no small measure thanks to its allies in the Federal Government and its growing investment in USA shale.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) on Monday announced that it will invest $20 billion over 10 years on its manufacturing plants along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Woods also noted research with Georgia Tech on a new membrane for the process of reverse osmosis that can convert oil and natural gas to higher-value fuels and chemicals. It came after a meeting with analysts last week in which he said Exxon is poised to almost double its production from US shale basins in the next decade.

Followed by the White House's:"Exxon Mobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the United States Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity".

That's not all. Trump also sent out a slew of congratulatory tweets and an accompanying video, in which he called Exxon "the great company" and linked his administration fervently to this announcement.

President Donald Trump couldn't be happier. The investments will take place at 11 sites throughout 2022.

Woods is branding the project as a new initiative is a bit disingenuous.

Woods, in his first public address as CEO, told an audience at CERAWeek that the company is taking advantage of shale resource supplies to invest in 11 projects that he said would be "export machines".

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Already a high margin project, profitability will especially increase for Exxon if oil prices rise. The venerable oil and gas giant lost its AAA rating from Standard and Poor in April 2016, which thought a symbolic loss (it shared the rating with Microsoft and Johnson&Johnson) indicated the damage wrought by years of low prices and some pretty awful luck, notably Tillerson's lost $500 billion deal in Russian Federation as the result of Western sanctions.

As a result, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that the stock will perform in line with the broader USA equity market over the next one to three months.

Additionally, Exxon Mobil's dividend yield is one of the lowest among major energy firms.

Trump's praise for Exxon goes alongside his cheerleading for a number companies that have announced new plans for investment following meetings with him.

With "buy" ratings from investors at an all-time low and its reputation tarnished by a run of bad luck, Exxon is looking for a new approach to rebuild confidence. That's barely unchanged from 2016 production and marks a significant change in the company's strategy.

However, U.S. producers are gathering to the oil patches and have been increasing production.

After several decades of shunning the US and Latin America for Asian and African riches, ExxonMobil's new approach signals both a shift in tactics and branding.

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