The media is focusing on the 6% increase in earnings, overlooking what happened in EARNINGS PER SHARE! EPS, generally buried in the text of various article and not mentioned by the talking heads on CNBC, were up over 10%!!!!! Thank you, Management and Board, for continuing to use cash flow to reward shareholders in a combined program of increasing dividends and increased ownership in the company via share repurchases. It's just so cool to think that I own 4% to 5% more of this outstanding company every year, year after year, through corporate share repurchases! At a PE of 9, for instance, that's an 11% return on equity capital...pretty darn good when the borrowing cost for "AAA" companies is so low...probably under 2%. Capital Allocation has been XOM's strength for over 50 years, and I'm happy relying on Management and the Board to balance exploration, development, other cap-ex, dividends and share repurchases. CNBC needs to "ckthemath" and focus on earnings per share growth. As for me, I'll "RELY ON THE TIGER!".
Sentiment: Buy on weakness, accumulate up to my maximum concentration limit (currently there due to XOM's good performance!)
you are 100% correct--the only fly/ointment was the (another) decline in production
either 1/more of several projects needs to contribute to reverse that trend or there will be another "purchase" (prob with shares so EPS will get diluted again)--its getting to be vicious cycle
but has to be addressed--all glory is fleeting