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Pro Analysis

Goldman downgrades Exxon Mobil on flat oil prices; recommends Chevron instead

ExxonMobil oil rig
Source: ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil oil rig

Goldman Sachs lowered its rating on Exxon Mobil to neutral from buy and removed the company from its Americas conviction buy list, citing a lack of catalysts to drive the shares higher. Conversely, the firm upgraded its rating on Chevron shares to buy from neutral and added it to its conviction buy list.

Exxon Mobil's third-quarter sales results Friday came in lower that expected.

"We see few catalysts for XOM to drive relative outperformance vs. Energy, especially in a range bound commodity price environment," analyst Neil Mehta wrote in a note to clients Monday.

"Based on comments at the analyst day and conference calls, XOM has been hesitant to pursue large scale M&A, which may have provided greater investor confidence around reserve replacement/growth."