5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015

In the first-full day of trading after the Fed’s decision to bring on the taper, stocks ended mixed–and just barely, at that–as Chevron (CVX), International Business Machines (IBM) and Walt Disney (DIS) rose, and Health Care REIT (HCN) andDarden Restaurants (DRI) fell.

Associated Press

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 16,179.08, a record high, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.1% to 1,809.60. Chevron gained 1.3% to 123.22 today, Walt Disney rose 1.1% $72.97 and International Business Machines advanced 0.9% to $180.22 after purchasing file-sharing company Aspera–provided the winning margin for the Dow. Health Care REIT, which fell 2.1% to $52.58 after making an addition to its board yesterday after the close, and Darden Restaurants, which dropped 3.6% to $51.02 after announcing that it would spinoff or sell Red Lobster, helped drag the S&P 500 down.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)

Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Friday

    Earnings Expected From: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL), Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO), Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG) Economic Releases Expected: German consumer confidence, Italian retail sales, British GDP, U.S. new home sales

    Posted-In: Earnings News Previews Top Stories Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

  • [By Motley Fool Staff]

    Andres Cardenal: Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL  ) , generates most of its sales and cash flows from its leadership position in the oral care industry. Management estimates that the company owns a global market share of 44.4% in toothpastes, 33.2% in toothbrushes, and 38.9% in mouthwashes.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Similarly, in 2008, Altria spun off its Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM  ) unit. In that case, Philip Morris represented the larger portion of the business, making up almost 70% of the overall value of the pre-merger company. Again, the dividends that Altria paid after the merger were in line with the domestic segment’s previous share of payouts.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    …large stocks can outperform in ’risk on,’ rising markets, as well as in bifurcated markets like this year. A period of large cap outperformance is not necessarily a bear market phenomenon. The large cap rally during the dot-com boom is a classic example, as large technology companies led the market. In the ‘80s, large multinational growth companies such as Coca-Cola (KO), Pfizer (PFE), and Philip Morris (PM) led the charge. It is also important to note that during these periods both large and small stocks delivered positive returns.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)

McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jesse Solomon]

    The impressive results are instructive at a time when other restaurant chains, including McDonalds (MCD) and rival Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands (YUM), can’t get their act together.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Let’s take a look at three classic dividend growers: Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , Altria Group (NYSE: MO  ) , and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD  ) . These classic cash machines have increased their payouts without fail for at least 37 consecutive years, creating heaps of investor wealth in the process.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    McDonald’s (MCD) has a problem. Investors have known this for a while, and now it seems McDonald’s management does too.

    Associated Press

    McDonald’s reported a profit of $1.35 a share not including charges, missing forecasts for $1.37. Even worse–same-store sales in the U.S. and Europe slumped the most since 2003. Janney’s Mark Kalinowski and Ryan Kidd explain:

    September same-store sales in the U.S. fell by -4.1%, which was even worse than our sell-side low projection of -3.6% (and also below the Consensus Metrix figure of -2.8%).

    The -4.1% number was also the worst monthly McDonald’s U.S. same-store sales performance since February 2003’s -4.4%. Perhaps an even greater surprise was Europe’s September same-store sales decline of -4.2%, which was worse than our -1.0% projection, and below the Consensus Metrix number of -0.9%. The poor European showing was the worst month for McDonald’s same-store sales in that key region since March 2003’s -5.4% decline. Although APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East, & Africa) September same-store sales of -7.5% were better than our -11.0% estimate and Consensus Metrix of -11.0%, it’s obviously not a performance to crow about, either.

    The good news is that McDonald’s finally acknowledged that it has a problem. It plans to simplify its menu, among other steps. It might take bigger steps, however, before investors can start believing in McDonald’s again.

    Shares of McDonald’s have dipped 0.3% to $91.35 at 12:28 p.m.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Visa Inc.(V)

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Andrew Tonner]

    Since both banks and credit card companies benefit from Apple Pay in much the same way, I’ll further lump them together for purposes of this discussion. It doesn’t take an overly keen observer to note that these combined financial institutions stand to gain as the result of Apple’s new payment platform. True, Apple Pay will eat into the value of each transaction (Apple reportedly receives $0.15 for every $100 of transactional value), but there’s little question that the system’s ease of use should help increase aggregate payment volumes for banks and expand the overall use of consumer credit for the credit card companies.  On top of seeing increased point-of-sale transaction volumes, these two kinds of financial institutions also believe Apple Pay will drive a significant uptick in mobile e-commerce sales by finally providing the kind of secure and seamless option many small websites need.  So while Apple will certainly eat into their margins, the credit card companies such as Visa (NYSE: V  ) , MasterCard (NYSE: MA  ) , and American Express (NYSE: AXP  )  and major banks like Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) , JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) , Citi (NYSE: C  ) , are certainly right in their optimistic view of Apple Pay.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Why is the market surging? Top-notch earnings from big Dow components like Caterpillar (CAT) and 3M (MMM), and a dividend increase from Visa (V) certainly have helped, as these are some of the priciest stocks in the price-weighted Dow. And then there’s the economic data. US jobless claims rose to 283,000, a tad bit higher than expected but still ridiculously low. Global purchasing managers’ indexes also showed signs of improvement, especially in Europe. If the recent selloff was a “growth scare,” then perhaps growth isn’t as scary as many investors thought. 

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Chevron Corporation(CVX)

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Value Line]

    Shares of Chevron (CVX) slid 8.6%. However little blame can be placed on anything of the integrated oil company’s own doing. Indeed, its earnings for the June quarter were up 8% compared to the prior-year period, topping consensus estimates by a comfortable margin. More likely, the shares were reacting to the combination of a stronger dollar, rising production from U.S. shale fields, higher stockpiles, and slowing global demand growth, all of which conspired to push U.S. crude oil prices to a recent 17-month low.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The folks at JPMorgan took a look at Chevron (CVX) and ExxonMobil (XOM) and came away feeling, well, unenthused. JPMorgan’s Phil Gresh and John Royall explain why they started ExxonMobil at Neutral…

    Reuters

    We initiate coverage of ExxonMobil shares with a Neutral rating and a December 2015 price target of $104/share. Within our integrated oil coverage universe, we see ExxonMobil as being more macro-oriented and defensive than peers. We see pricing (macro) as the main model driver, with some incremental help from margin levers like cost/mix. We also see some unique defensive characteristics at ExxonMobil, such as its top-tier FCF yield,
    FCF/dividend coverage ratio and below-average financial leverage, which should allow for favorable return of capital versus peers in all of our scenario analyses. One additional lever to watch is acquisitions. The pool of candidates is vast and the desire to add inorganic reserves could grow if timing risks around Russian exploration grow; however, we expect a long-term, opportunistic orientation, given the likely ROCE headwind for any such deal. Thus, our base case assumes that ExxonMobil will hold its current course of top tier return of capital to shareholders, which could lead to a ~11% total return (including dividends) by year-end 2015 (group ~15%).

    ..and assigned the same rating to Chevron:

    We initiate coverage on Chevron with a Neutral rating and a December 2015 price target of $133/share, which represents 12% total return potential, including dividends (group average 15%). Chevron has an attractive global asset base, with the potential for top tier production growth and margins versus global integrated peers, in our view. While FCF is currently negative as the Australian LNG investment phase peaks, a potential multi-year improvement could be ahead as these projects move into production mode. The post-2017 production outlook also looks favorable, with a balanced reserve profile

  • [By Jesse Solomon]

    The unrelenting reign of Big Oil: It’s not called Big Oil for nothing. With a market value of over $400 billion, Exxon Mobil (XOM)is the second largest company in the world. Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) aren’t too far behind. And all them are listed in the S&P 500, the popular index of America’s largest companies.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    When we read that overall description of a blue chip stock we could easily be describing Kinder Morgan. It’s already the third largest energy company in North America by enterprise value, behind just ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) . It’s also the largest midstream company in North America and as the following slide shows it’s the market leader in several key energy infrastructure segments.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015

In the first-full day of trading after the Fed’s decision to bring on the taper, stocks ended mixed–and just barely, at that–as Chevron (CVX), International Business Machines (IBM) and Walt Disney (DIS) rose, and Health Care REIT (HCN) andDarden Restaurants (DRI) fell.

Associated Press

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 16,179.08, a record high, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.1% to 1,809.60. Chevron gained 1.3% to 123.22 today, Walt Disney rose 1.1% $72.97 and International Business Machines advanced 0.9% to $180.22 after purchasing file-sharing company Aspera–provided the winning margin for the Dow. Health Care REIT, which fell 2.1% to $52.58 after making an addition to its board yesterday after the close, and Darden Restaurants, which dropped 3.6% to $51.02 after announcing that it would spinoff or sell Red Lobster, helped drag the S&P 500 down.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)

Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Friday

    Earnings Expected From: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL), Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO), Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG) Economic Releases Expected: German consumer confidence, Italian retail sales, British GDP, U.S. new home sales

    Posted-In: Earnings News Previews Top Stories Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

  • [By Motley Fool Staff]

    Andres Cardenal: Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL  ) , generates most of its sales and cash flows from its leadership position in the oral care industry. Management estimates that the company owns a global market share of 44.4% in toothpastes, 33.2% in toothbrushes, and 38.9% in mouthwashes.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Similarly, in 2008, Altria spun off its Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM  ) unit. In that case, Philip Morris represented the larger portion of the business, making up almost 70% of the overall value of the pre-merger company. Again, the dividends that Altria paid after the merger were in line with the domestic segment’s previous share of payouts.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    …large stocks can outperform in ’risk on,’ rising markets, as well as in bifurcated markets like this year. A period of large cap outperformance is not necessarily a bear market phenomenon. The large cap rally during the dot-com boom is a classic example, as large technology companies led the market. In the ‘80s, large multinational growth companies such as Coca-Cola (KO), Pfizer (PFE), and Philip Morris (PM) led the charge. It is also important to note that during these periods both large and small stocks delivered positive returns.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: McDonald’s Corporation(MCD)

McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jesse Solomon]

    The impressive results are instructive at a time when other restaurant chains, including McDonalds (MCD) and rival Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands (YUM), can’t get their act together.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Let’s take a look at three classic dividend growers: Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , Altria Group (NYSE: MO  ) , and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD  ) . These classic cash machines have increased their payouts without fail for at least 37 consecutive years, creating heaps of investor wealth in the process.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    McDonald’s (MCD) has a problem. Investors have known this for a while, and now it seems McDonald’s management does too.

    Associated Press

    McDonald’s reported a profit of $1.35 a share not including charges, missing forecasts for $1.37. Even worse–same-store sales in the U.S. and Europe slumped the most since 2003. Janney’s Mark Kalinowski and Ryan Kidd explain:

    September same-store sales in the U.S. fell by -4.1%, which was even worse than our sell-side low projection of -3.6% (and also below the Consensus Metrix figure of -2.8%).

    The -4.1% number was also the worst monthly McDonald’s U.S. same-store sales performance since February 2003’s -4.4%. Perhaps an even greater surprise was Europe’s September same-store sales decline of -4.2%, which was worse than our -1.0% projection, and below the Consensus Metrix number of -0.9%. The poor European showing was the worst month for McDonald’s same-store sales in that key region since March 2003’s -5.4% decline. Although APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East, & Africa) September same-store sales of -7.5% were better than our -11.0% estimate and Consensus Metrix of -11.0%, it’s obviously not a performance to crow about, either.

    The good news is that McDonald’s finally acknowledged that it has a problem. It plans to simplify its menu, among other steps. It might take bigger steps, however, before investors can start believing in McDonald’s again.

    Shares of McDonald’s have dipped 0.3% to $91.35 at 12:28 p.m.

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Visa Inc.(V)

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Andrew Tonner]

    Since both banks and credit card companies benefit from Apple Pay in much the same way, I’ll further lump them together for purposes of this discussion. It doesn’t take an overly keen observer to note that these combined financial institutions stand to gain as the result of Apple’s new payment platform. True, Apple Pay will eat into the value of each transaction (Apple reportedly receives $0.15 for every $100 of transactional value), but there’s little question that the system’s ease of use should help increase aggregate payment volumes for banks and expand the overall use of consumer credit for the credit card companies.  On top of seeing increased point-of-sale transaction volumes, these two kinds of financial institutions also believe Apple Pay will drive a significant uptick in mobile e-commerce sales by finally providing the kind of secure and seamless option many small websites need.  So while Apple will certainly eat into their margins, the credit card companies such as Visa (NYSE: V  ) , MasterCard (NYSE: MA  ) , and American Express (NYSE: AXP  )  and major banks like Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) , JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) , Citi (NYSE: C  ) , are certainly right in their optimistic view of Apple Pay.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Why is the market surging? Top-notch earnings from big Dow components like Caterpillar (CAT) and 3M (MMM), and a dividend increase from Visa (V) certainly have helped, as these are some of the priciest stocks in the price-weighted Dow. And then there’s the economic data. US jobless claims rose to 283,000, a tad bit higher than expected but still ridiculously low. Global purchasing managers’ indexes also showed signs of improvement, especially in Europe. If the recent selloff was a “growth scare,” then perhaps growth isn’t as scary as many investors thought. 

5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Chevron Corporation(CVX)

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Value Line]

    Shares of Chevron (CVX) slid 8.6%. However little blame can be placed on anything of the integrated oil company’s own doing. Indeed, its earnings for the June quarter were up 8% compared to the prior-year period, topping consensus estimates by a comfortable margin. More likely, the shares were reacting to the combination of a stronger dollar, rising production from U.S. shale fields, higher stockpiles, and slowing global demand growth, all of which conspired to push U.S. crude oil prices to a recent 17-month low.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The folks at JPMorgan took a look at Chevron (CVX) and ExxonMobil (XOM) and came away feeling, well, unenthused. JPMorgan’s Phil Gresh and John Royall explain why they started ExxonMobil at Neutral…

    Reuters

    We initiate coverage of ExxonMobil shares with a Neutral rating and a December 2015 price target of $104/share. Within our integrated oil coverage universe, we see ExxonMobil as being more macro-oriented and defensive than peers. We see pricing (macro) as the main model driver, with some incremental help from margin levers like cost/mix. We also see some unique defensive characteristics at ExxonMobil, such as its top-tier FCF yield,
    FCF/dividend coverage ratio and below-average financial leverage, which should allow for favorable return of capital versus peers in all of our scenario analyses. One additional lever to watch is acquisitions. The pool of candidates is vast and the desire to add inorganic reserves could grow if timing risks around Russian exploration grow; however, we expect a long-term, opportunistic orientation, given the likely ROCE headwind for any such deal. Thus, our base case assumes that ExxonMobil will hold its current course of top tier return of capital to shareholders, which could lead to a ~11% total return (including dividends) by year-end 2015 (group ~15%).

    ..and assigned the same rating to Chevron:

    We initiate coverage on Chevron with a Neutral rating and a December 2015 price target of $133/share, which represents 12% total return potential, including dividends (group average 15%). Chevron has an attractive global asset base, with the potential for top tier production growth and margins versus global integrated peers, in our view. While FCF is currently negative as the Australian LNG investment phase peaks, a potential multi-year improvement could be ahead as these projects move into production mode. The post-2017 production outlook also looks favorable, with a balanced reserve profile

  • [By Jesse Solomon]

    The unrelenting reign of Big Oil: It’s not called Big Oil for nothing. With a market value of over $400 billion, Exxon Mobil (XOM)is the second largest company in the world. Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) aren’t too far behind. And all them are listed in the S&P 500, the popular index of America’s largest companies.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    When we read that overall description of a blue chip stock we could easily be describing Kinder Morgan. It’s already the third largest energy company in North America by enterprise value, behind just ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) . It’s also the largest midstream company in North America and as the following slide shows it’s the market leader in several key energy infrastructure segments.