By Dhirendra Tripathi
Investing.com – Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) rose just short of 3% Tuesday as two brokerages, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:) and Credit Suisse (NYSE:), reposed their faith in the oil giant.
BoA reiterated its buy on the stock on Monday, convinced that the company will hike its dividend payout before the end of the year. Activist investors have been chasing ExxonMobil for a higher dividend amid calls from various quarters to do more on the ESG front.
ExxonMobil’s dividend payments to shareholders have grown at an average annual rate of 6.1% over the last 38 years, the company not paying them for the third and quarter of the last fiscal year being the rare exceptions.
Credit Suisse analyst Manav Gupta raised the price target on ExxonMobil to $72, a 12.5% upside from the stock’s current level of $64. He maintained his neutral rating on the stock.
According to Gupta, as demand for refined products approaches pre-pandemic levels, ExxonMobil’s refining results will demonstrate material free cash-flow inflection, a point not appreciated enough.