The Wall Street journal has reported that Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips are planning to announce the formation of a joint venture to design, build, and operate a rapid response system to address the impact of a future oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The move by the oil majors is an attempt to structure a private sector plan that will mitigate concerns regarding lax safety standards that may have contributed to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Most companies on a calendar fiscal year have released proxy statements over the past month. In addition to annual reports, intelligent investors must pay close attention to proxy statements to determine the company’s philosophy on executive compensation. Nearly every compensation committee includes what seems like boilerplate statements regarding aligning the incentives of management and shareholders. However, as we have seen on many occasions, such as the example provided by Kraft’s absurd compensation policies, shareholders must be vigilant when it comes to matching rhetoric with reality. Read this article for more details.
Exxon Mobil has agreed to acquire XTO Energy in a $31 billion all stock deal which values XTO at a 25% premium to Friday’s closing price. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Exxon’s move may send a bullish signal on natural gas particularly given that the company has not made a major acquisition in over a decade. Read this article for more details.