Talking Numbers

Crude oil just cost this company $36.85 billion in market cap

Crude oil just cost this company $36.85 billion in market cap

Oil prices have been plunging and they are taking the stock of the world's largest oil company with them.

At one point this week, crude traded below $90 per barrel. But oil's move down has been happening for weeks due to a variety of factors – European economic weakness, a stronger dollar, more U.S. supplies, and Saudi Arabia's intentions to keep its market share. And as oil prices moved lower, so did shares of the second-most valuable company on earth.

Since this year's June 12 peaks, oil prices have fallen 13 percent to 27-month low. During the same period of time, the price of Exxon Mobil dropped $8.65 per share, or nearly 9 percent. For shareholders, that means $36.85 billion in market cap – more than the entire value of Tesla – disappeared in just 112 days.

The energy sector is more than 10 percent of the S&P 500 and Exxon Mobil is 3.55 percent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. So, the company's woes have some bearing on the overall market, too.

Could oil continue to go lower and will that mean more trouble for Exxon Mobil?

(Read: Oil yanked back from the brink; WTI ends with modest gains)

David Seaburg, head of equity sales trading at Cowen and Company, thinks oil prices may be getting ready to calm down a little bit, but Exxon Mobil isn't out of the woods just yet.

"I like the stock but I think there's a credibility issue with them," Seaburg said. "They made up the second quarter with a lot of asset sales, and I think left investors with a tremendous amount of questions."

Seaburg thinks investors want to see what happens with numbers from the third and fourth quarter of this year before they line up behind Exxon Mobil again.

Should crude oil prices settle into a range between $85 and $90 per barrel, Seaburg believes investors would actually be more comfortable buying Exxon Mobil's stock. In the meantime, he doesn't think shares in the oil giant will fall much further, though any hope for it to go higher will depend on the next two earnings reports.

"I don't see a lot of downside risk to this story here," Seaburg said. "But for this stock to make a meaningful move up, we're going to have to get some credibility back and that's going to be through Q3 and Q4 earnings."

(See: CNBC's Energy coverage)

From a technical position, Jason Rotman, president of Lido Isle Advisors, doesn't think the stock is a buy just yet. He sees Exxon Mobil as having recently broken a supportive trend line that began with its lows 11 months ago.

Though he may not be buying the stock because of that breakdown, he wouldn't short it, either. "I don't quite think it's a short because I think Exxon is headed higher in the long-term with the overall crude oil long-term bullish picture," Rotman said.

Instead, Rotman is keeping a close eye on the $86 per share level. "Exxon has not been able to stay below $86 since 2013," he said. "If Exxon gets to $86, I think that's when you reload the bullish positions."

To see the full discussion on Exxon Mobil, with Seaburg on the fundamentals and Rotman on the technicals, watch the above video.

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