How Does Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) Look Ahead of Earnings

Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) is a Texas based oil and natural gas producer and currently the largest oil and gas company in the world by total market capitalization. As of the time of this post (12:10PM CST), XOM is currently trading 86.91, down 0.77% on the day. The stock is continuing to press the 52 week lows just over 86.00 as crude oil futures continue their downward slide and weigh heavily on the stock prices of most related companies. XOM is scheduled to report earnings this coming Monday, 2/2/2015 before the market open.

Over the last eight quarters of earnings data available, XOM has traded with mixed results, moving higher and lower evenly, four out of eight sessions immediately following the EPS release. The average historical move during this same time period was 1.5%. Currently the options market is pricing in a slightly lower than average move of approximately 0.91% based on the current pricing of the at-the-money straddle. This would imply a directional move of about 0.80 in the underlying stock by next Friday’s weekly options expiration. On a technical basis, XOM continues to look extremely weak, well below the downward sloping Ichimoku Cloud and all relevant moving averages on a daily chart. The stock continues to lack any significant buying pressure, and looks to remain bearish in the near term as long as crude oil prices continue their extended decline. For these reasons, I am heavily leaning bearish this name going into earnings, and will be looking to establish a short position before this afternoon’s close.

Potential Trade: Buying the XOM Feb 6th Weekly 84.5-83.5 Put Spreads for $0.30
Risk: $30 per 1 lot
Reward: $70 per 1 lot
Breakeven: $84.20