The mother of all oil stocks, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has one of the most disappointing headline yields in big oil — a measly 2.2% right now. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A, RDS.B) is yielding 4.6% on its dividend. Brazil’s Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) is almost 4.3%. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is “only” 3.1%, which might not be as high as the others, but at least puts this domestic oil player in the list of top 10 Dow dividend stocks.
Exxon pays $1.88 in dividends annually, boosted its payout a paltry 7% last year and has a rock-bottom payout ratio of just 22% based on projected earnings of $8.55 for fiscal 2012. And like Apple, it also shares the unfortunate distinction of posting some of the biggest corporate profits in U.S. history — with its fiscal 2011 total of $41 billion second only to its previous record of more than $45 billion set in 2008.
Yes, oil prices are volatile — but forgive me if I don’t have much sympathy after those exorbitant earnings and a payout ratio below the already miserly S&P average.