Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is to the oil industry as the U.S. is to the world: really, really big and important.
XOM is perhaps the world’s foremost energy exploration and production company. It manages to wring cost and margin out of every price p0int in the supply chain, and it works to stay ahead of the competition at every turn. And though your first thoughts turn to oil, Exxon is now the globe’s largest producer of natural gas.
Exxon also is run on a shoestring-tight budget, which is why this $373 billion company pumps out a 9% profit margin in a difficult market, a whopping 25% return on equity, has an $18 billion cash war chest and an astounding $56 billion in operating cash flow. This dependable dividends stock rewards investors every year, and the stock now pays out $2.28 per share for a yield of 2.85%.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long MSFT, JNJ and XOM.