Avoid stocks like XOM

What do I think of Exxon Mobile?

Someone asked me what I think of Exxon Mobil – here it is. ​​ The first thing I do is check the score summary and synopsis, to see if anything jumps out at me. ​​ The synopsis looks OK – tons of volume. ​​ 

Only two things jump out at me:

  • P/E of 35. ​​ This doesn’t underperform, by itself, somewhat surprisingly.
    But notice what happened to XOM’s P/E and price. ​​ P/E went up – a lot, while price did not.

    Following this thread to the end, we plot XOM’s EPS, quarterly.

    What happens if we look at companies where the EPS is less than 60% what it was a year ago, and that quantity is less than 60% what it was a year before?