Friday, February 02, 2007

What Is Exxon-Mobil Doing with Its Money?

In today's NYTimes, Floyd Norris complains that, increasingly, Exxon-Mobil is buying back its shares instead of developing new sources of energy.

Exxon-Mobil is a superbly managed oil company, but that is all that it is.

What Exxon-Mobil is demonstrating by its partial liquidation is that they recognize that the demand for energy will be satisfied from sources other than fossil fuels in the future. The atmosphere cannot tolerate increasing amounts of carbon dioxide.

Exxon-Mobil has outstanding ability in petroleum but not in anything else, literally.

So, they are returning capital to the stockholders so that they may invest their capital elsewhere.

That is corporate social responsibility in its highest form.

Disclosure: many years ago, I was employed for four years by Mobil Oil as a planning analyst in the headquarters of the domestic petroleum division.

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