The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero Energy and Tesoro

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero
                              Energy and Tesoro

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Oct. 23, 2012

CHICAGO, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM),
Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Valero Energy Corp.
(NYSE:VLO) and Tesoro Corp. (NYSE:TSO).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

U.S. Crude Supplies Surge Further

The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed that crude
stockpiles increased, as imports climbed. The report further revealed that
within the 'refined products' category, gasoline stocks rose, while distillate
supplies were down from the week-ago levels. Meanwhile, refiners scaled up
their utilization rates by 0.7%.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) Petroleum Status Report,
containing data of the previous week ending Friday, outlines information
regarding the weekly change in petroleum inventories held and produced by the
U.S., both locally and abroad.

The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements,
thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of petroleum
products. It is an indicator of current oil prices and volatility that affect
businesses of companies engaged in the oil and refining industry, such as
ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), ConocoPhillips
(NYSE:COP), Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) and Tesoro Corp. (NYSE:TSO).

Analysis of the Data

Crude Oil: The federal government's EIA report revealed that crude inventories
rose by 2.86 million barrels for the week ending October 5, 2012, following a
climb of 1.67 million barrels in the previous week.

The analysts surveyed by Platts had expected oil stocks to go up some 1.5
million barrels. An uptick in the level of imports led to the stockpile
build-up with the world's biggest oil consumer even as refiners improved their
utilization rates.

However, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma – the key
delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange
– edged down by 140,000 barrels from the previous week's level to 44.03
million barrels. Stocks are currently just under the all-time high of 47.78
million barrels reached in June.

At 369.23 million barrels, current crude supplies are 10.9% above the
year-earlier level, and exceeds the upper limit of the average for this time
of the year. The crude supply cover was up from 24.8 days in the previous week
to 25.0 days. In the year-ago period, the supply cover was 22.5 days.

Gasoline: Supplies of gasoline were up for just the second time in 12 weeks
despite improvement in domestic consumption. The increase in gasoline
inventories could be attributed to rising imports and production.

The 1.72 million barrels gain – contrary to analyst projections for a decline
in supply level – took gasoline stockpiles up to 197.13 million barrels.
However, notwithstanding this build, the existing inventory level of the most
widely used petroleum product is still 4.5% off the year-earlier levels and is
in the lower limit of the average range.

Distillate: Distillate fuel supplies (including diesel and heating oil)
dropped by 2.22 million barrels last week, much higher than analyst
expectations for a 1.5 million barrels decrease in inventory level. The fall
in distillate fuel stocks – the fifth in as many weeks – could be attributed
to stronger demand and lower imports, partially offset by higher production.

At 118.66 million barrels, distillate supplies are 20.7% below the year-ago
level and are under the lower limit of the average range for this time of the
year.

Refinery Rates: Refinery utilization was up 0.7% from the prior week to 87.4%.
The analysts were expecting the refinery run rate to decline by 0.3%.

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