Exxon Mobil Downgraded To Sell From Neutral At Goldman Sachs

 

Goldman Sachs analyst Neil Mehta downgraded Exxon Mobil to Sell from Neutral with a price target of $59, down from $72. The shares closed Friday down $2.67 to $62.12.

Following the company's Q4 results, the analyst sees downside to long-term consensus estimates, an elevated relative valuation versus peers, a lack of free cash flow limiting capital returns, and risk to long-term return on capital employed targets. The core of the Exxon bull case has been predicated on the company improving its return on capital, with a 15% return on capital employed 2025 goal set out at the 2018 analyst day, Mehta tells investors in a research note. However, he sees "clear downside risk to this goal," and is modeling for an 8% ROCE in 2025 on a combination of lower downstream margin assumptions, lower crude price forecasts and risk around execution/capture rates.

 

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