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ExxonMobil Shares to be Sold by Rockafellers Family Fund

Zacks Equity Research

ExxonMobil Corporation XOM has found itself in troubled waters after being accused of misleading the public about climate change risks. Following such grave allegations, the Rockefeller Family Fund, announced its decision to divest its holdings in the company as well as all other fossil fuels investments immediately.

Per the director of the Rockefeller Family Fund, Lee Wasserman, about 6% of the New York-based philanthropic foundation’s $130 million in holdings is invested in fossil fuels. With the holdings in ExxonMobil already divested, the trust has now instructed third-party managers to reduce its indirect holdings of these types of investments to less than 1% of its total portfolio. The charity also intends to sell assets in coal and Canadian oil sands.

The Rockefeller Family Fund concluded that it does not find any rational basis for companies to explore for oil using methods that are dangerous for humans and natural ecosystems, particularly, when the government is imploring companies to cut down on carbon emissions.

ExxonMobil was the only company selected by the Rockefeller Family Fund for its unacceptable conduct.  A number of articles issued last year by InsideClimate News alleged that the oil giant knew about global warming since the 1970s but attempted to hide information from investors, policymakers and the public.

However, ExxonMobil retaliated against the Rockefeller Family Fund’s decision by terming it “a conspiracy.” The Rockefeller Family Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund both are listed as financial backers of InsideClimate News on its website. Per ExxonMobil, InsideClimate News and Columbia University Journalism School are known to have knowingly produced inaccurate and deliberately misleading stories about ExxonMobil's history of climate research.

Proceeds raised from the liquidation of fossil-fuel investments will be redirected into appropriate channels in socially responsible investing space.

Currently, ExxonMobil carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some better-ranked players from the energy sector are SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. SEDG, Braskem S.A. BAK and Enviva Partners, LP EVA. Each of these stocks sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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