Exxon Stock Nabs More 2-Year Highs After Earnings Beat

XOM bucked last month's broad-market downtrend

Digital Content Manager
Feb 1, 2022 at 10:07 AM
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The shares of Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) are up 3% to trade at $78.21 at last check, after the company's fourth-quarter earnings topped expectations -- coming in at $2.05 per share -- while its revenue fell short of estimates, but still saw an 80% year-over-year jump. Exxon also announced that it will start its buyback program in the first quarter, thanks to a strengthened financial position and a bounce in oil and gas prices. 

XOM has impressively bucked the broad-market downtrend, rising 25.5% last month, and now trading at its highest level since July 2019. The equity staged a bounce off its 40-day moving average in mid-December, while the 10-day moving average has helped guide shares higher more recently. 

Analysts have yet to chime in, but there's room for upgrades. Of the 16 in coverage, only five consider it a "strong buy," compared to 10 "hold" ratings, and one "strong sell." What's more, the 12-month consensus price target of $76.74 is a 1.5% deficit to current levels.

Options traders have also taken a bearish stance of late. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), XOM's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.95 sits higher than all other readings from the past year. This means puts are getting picked up at their fastest pace in this 12-month time span. 

Echoing this, short-term options traders have rarely been more put-biased. This is per XOM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.85, which stands higher than 71% of readings from the past year. 

Drilling down to today's options activity, 75,000 calls and 28,000 puts have crossed the tape, which is quadruple the intraday average. Most popular is the weekly 2/4 80-strike call, followed by the 78-strike call in the same series, with positions being opened at both.


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