Yesterday on webfn.com (streaming financial news 24/7), a money manager recommended IMO based on massive hydrocarbon reserves and great performance among its peers over past 5 years (2d best of 18 major fully integrated oil companies).
He said it was a great place to be during the period where "so-called geo-political issues are overhanging the markets."
Imperial Oil is a better pick than Conoco Phillips. Why? Phillips already showed that building the empire is the wish (which increases the paychecks of the empire builders, namely Mulva and assoc.). Moreover, CON is highly risky due to fragility with respect to the Alaska Pipeline. Many ARCO and related investments depend upon a reliable pipeline without major, major oil cleanup expenses. Imperial Oil has valuable oil reserves, and they are much more secure - not depending on a long pipeline in cold, remote areas. A small group of dedicated demolition experts could successfully destroy the Alaska Pipeline and put it out of business for years - not months. Already, some Southeren Irag oil fields are on fire at this moment. IMO is creeping up. Obviously, we are not likely to see oil shipments from Iraq (for the duration of the war, and much longer if oil infrastructure is destroyed). Of course, IMO is mostly owned by Mobil. So, no empire building nonsense (though some captital expenditures, and that is good). No management "free for all" to get unwarranted benefits like stock options (as at CVS). New tax laws to reduce the double tax on dividends will help, because Mobil wants dividends! They get them when they are declared, and so do IMO stockholders.
Well I just bought some more as these prices still do not reflect the companies full value and I want to catch the dividend! Hope they raise the dividend soon....maybe a split might be in the offing also.