A few weeks ago, when it was announced that Exxon Mobil (XOM) was being unceremoniously dumped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, that news was bound to usher in another period of weakness for the once-dominant but already embattled U.S. oil company. At the time I thought that at some point, that selling would be overdone and XOM would represent value. That time has come and there are both fundamental and technical reasons to believe that.
Before we look at those though, lets address the elephant in the room. Energy, in general, and big oil, in particular, has had a very bad year. Hell, it has had a bad decade! That has led some prominent commentators, most notably CNBC’s Jim Cramer, to pronounce the sector “uninvestable” to use his word. You should, however, keep one thing in mind. Cramer and others of his ilk aren’t really in the investing or trading business, they are in the entertainment business. In that business, sensational beats accurate every time.
The fact is that discounting the recent major disruption, oil demand is still growing and is expected to continue to do so for several years to come, even in the face of EVs and concern about the climate. Even when, and if, that growth reverses, the decline in liquids demand is anticipated to be extremely slow. That means lower output than at the peak maybe, but as we are already at massively reduced production due to Covid-19, the trajectory from here can still be up.