Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) added about 0.5% last week, to close down about 9.5% for the year to date and keep its position as the worst performing of the 30 stocks included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index.
WTI crude oil prices rose by the same amount as analysts and traders have begun seriously to question the ability of the production cuts to rebalance the global crude market by the time the cuts are supposed to end in June. WTI closed Friday at $48.72 on the Nymex.
Reuters reported last week that the company is considering selling its 2,500 service stations in Italy for a tidy €500 million (about $538 million). The rumored buyer is private equity giant Apollo Global Management LLC (APO), also rumored to be interested in buying 2,600 Italian service stations from a joint venture between Italy's Eni SpA (NYSE: E) and Total SA (TOT).
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Later this coming week is the 28th anniversary of the massive 50 million gallon crude oil spill near Valdez, Alaska. Until the explosion at BP's Deepwater Horizon project in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the Exxon Valdez spill was the worst ever in U.S. history.
The second-worst performing stock among the Dow 30 is the other energy giant, Chevron Corp. (CVX), which closed Friday at $107.68 per share, down 8.5% for the year to date.
Exxon's shares closed at $82.00 on Friday, down less than 0.1% for the day in a 52-week range of $80.31 to $95.55. The consensus 12-month price target is $88.23, in a range of $72 to $105 per share.