NEW YORK Nov 15 Shares in Exxon Mobil Corp
(XOM.N), the world's largest publicly traded oil company, could
rise more than 20 percent to $90 next year if energy prices
increase as expected, Barron's reported on Sunday.
Exxon shares have lagged rivals in the stock market rally
this year, falling about 10 percent, but futures contracts
anticipate higher energy prices next year that would be a major
boost to the company, according to Barron's Nov. 16 edition.
The Irving, Texas-based company could earn $6.50 a share in
2010 if the higher oil and natural-gas prices materialize,
compared to its expected 2009 profit of $4 a share, the
newspaper said. Exxon earned a record $8.69 a share in 2008
when oil prices peaked.
Analysts have criticized Exxon for weak production growth,
but it has an impressive record for getting a high return on
its investments, according to Barron's. It replaced more than
100 percent of its production in each of the last 15 years and,
between 2004 and 2008, its finding costs of $7 a barrel on
average were below its peers, Barron's said.
In addition, Exxon has a relatively low dividend yield of
2.3 percent, which is below several of its rivals, but analysts
estimate the dividend could rise another 5 percent or more in
2010, Barron's reported.
Exxon shares closed at $72.47 on the New York Stock
Exchange on Friday.
(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Leslie Adler)