Vivian D. Labbe
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Vivian D. Labbe in Mergers & Acquisitions,

Barclay's Sees Lack of M&A Activity as Boon for Exxon

Barclays' Paul Y. Cheng maintained an Equal-Weight rating for Exxon Mobil Corporation , with a price target of $80, saying that management does not plan to take up any upstream company level M&A activity in the near future.

Exxon Mobil mentioned that the buy-sell gap in the upstream segment was still too wide to justify large scale company level M&A, given its backlog of organic growth opportunities. Analyst Paul Cheng believes the absence of M&A prospects and Exxon Mobil's lower-than-expected capex guidance of $22 billion are likely to be viewed positively by shareholders.

Referring to value destruction in the upstream segment as more and more companies lever their balance sheets or issued equity, Exxon Mobil stated that it aims to pursue small sized, asset focused deals.