HOUSTON Dec 18 Exxon Mobil Corp stock
on Wednesday neared $100 per share, the continuation of a rally
fueled by investor expectations that the world's largest
publicly traded oil company would return more cash to
shareholders in coming months.
"They maintained the quarterly share buyback after two
quarters of reductions," said John White, analyst at
Houston-based oil and gas investment firm Triple Double
Advisors. "That's giving investors some confidence about bigger
Another factor buoying the Irving, Texas company's shares is
the disclosure on Nov. 14 that billionaire investor Warren
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc had bought
40.1 million Exxon shares, said White.
Shares of Exxon closed up nearly 3 percent at $99.54 on
Wednesday, surpassing the previous all-time closing high of
$98.87 reached earlier this week.
Since reporting its third-quarter results on Oct. 31, Exxon
shares have risen 11 percent, outperforming a 5 percent decline
in the SIG oil and gas company index.
At that time, Exxon indicated its capital expenditures may
subside next year after planned spending of $41 billion this
year, a move seen freeing up more cash for shareholders. The
company also said it expects to spend $3 billion on share
repurchases this quarter, an amount that equaled those made in
the third quarter.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)