ExxonMobil: A Big Opportunity in Big Oil

Prospects for continued growth in production volumesand strength in oil and gas pricesprompt S&P to rate the energy giant a strong buy

We think energy giant ExxonMobil's (XOM; recent price, 85) size gives it advantageous economies of scale, and its strong earnings have enabled it to build a cash balance of $34 billion, exceeding its total debt of $17 billion (including our estimate of $7.3 billion for the present value of its operating leases), as of Dec. 31, 2007.

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