Barron's Bullish On Exxon Mobil

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Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, was the subject of a bullish piece today in Barron's after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock and raised its price target on the shares to $102 from $82, which reflects a 9% discount to $110 a barrel oil prices. Goldman analyst Arjun Murti said ''We see 'big oil' as offering a favorable risk/reward opportunity in an uncertain environment,'' Barron's reported.

Texas-based Exxon (XOM), a Dow component, touched a 52-week at $88.23 last month, but closed at $81.39. Barron's said the stock should rise again. Murti also thinks Exxon would outperform its peers if high oil prices meaningfully dampened consumption, Barron's reported.

Last week, Credit Suisse said Exxon shares ''discount around $80 per barrel oil, offering absolute upside were oil price strength sustained,''according to Barron's. Standard & Poor's also reiterated its ''strong buy'' call and $99 price target on Exxon last week.

Exxon is planning 11 major projects over the next three years that could add as much 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in new production, S&P noted. The stock currently yields 2.1%.