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Declining Stock and Solid Fundamentals: Is The Market Wrong About Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)?

With its stock down 13% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Exxon Mobil's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Exxon Mobil

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Exxon Mobil is:

28% = US$58b ÷ US$202b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.28 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

Exxon Mobil's Earnings Growth And 28% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Exxon Mobil has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, a comparison with the average industry ROE of 30% also portrays the company's ROE in a good light. The high ROE therefore is what most likely laid the ground for the decent growth of 9.5% seen over the past five years by Exxon Mobil.

As a next step, we compared Exxon Mobil's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 16% in the same period.


Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for XOM? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Exxon Mobil Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

With a three-year median payout ratio of 38% (implying that the company retains 62% of its profits), it seems that Exxon Mobil is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that's well covered.

Moreover, Exxon Mobil is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 42%. Still, forecasts suggest that Exxon Mobil's future ROE will drop to 16% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.


On the whole, we feel that Exxon Mobil's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see a good amount of growth in its earnings. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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