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Short Interest in ExxonMobil Rose, Stock Rose 16%

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Mar. 27 2019, Published 10:03 a.m. ET

Short interest in ExxonMobil stock

The short interest in ExxonMobil (XOM) stock has risen from 0.71% of its outstanding shares on January 2 to the current level of 0.76%. Usually, a rise in the short interest in a stock indicates an increase in the bearish sentiment for the stock. During the same period, ExxonMobil’s stock price has risen 15.5%.

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Why did the sentiment change?

The rise in the negative sentiments for ExxonMobil stock could be due to an expected fall in its earnings in 2019. Wall Street analysts expect the company’s earnings to fall 12% in 2019—the highest among its leading global peers. The fall was mainly due to the lower crude oil price estimate for the year. Oil prices are crucial to integrated energy companies. Oil prices are the main determinant of the company’s upstream earnings.

Although oil prices have risen in the first quarter, they’re still lower than the quarterly average the previous year. The rise is expected to impact the company’s first-quarter earnings. In the first quarter. ExxonMobil is expected to see a 20% YoY decline in its EPS. An expectation of lower earnings might have led to an increase in the negative sentiment in the stock.

Peers’ short interest

The short interest in Total (TOT), ENI (E), and Suncor Energy (SU) has risen by 0.07 percentage points, 0.01 percentage points, and 0.01 percentage points, respectively, since January 2. Currently, the short interest in Total, ENI, and Suncor is 0.11%, 0.02%, and 0.71%, respectively. If we consider their stock price movements, then Total, ENI, and Suncor have risen 6.1%, 12.5%, and 19.0%, respectively, since January 2.

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