Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero and Tesoro

Mar 29, 2011, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com Analyst Blog features: ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Valero (NYSE: VLO) and Tesoro (NYSE: TSO).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=4579

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

EIA: Gasoline Stocks Dip Sharply

The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed a larger-than-expected build-up in crude stockpiles, while distillates were flat for the week. However, on the bullish side, gasoline stocks dropped sharply and refinery run-rates increased from the previous week levels.

The Energy Information Administration ("EIA") Petroleum Status Report – which contains data for the previous week ending on Friday, outlines information regarding the weekly change in petroleum inventories held and produced by the U.S., both locally and abroad.

The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of petroleum products. It is an indicator of current oil prices and volatility that affect businesses of companies engaged in oil and refining industry, such as ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Valero (NYSE: VLO) and Tesoro (NYSE: TSO).

Crude Oil

The federal government's EIA report revealed that crude inventories rose by 2.13 million barrels for the week ending March 18, 2011, against expectation of a slightly smaller gain set by analysts surveyed by Platts, an energy information firm. Rising imports led to the stockpile build-up with the world's biggest oil user, more than nullifying the effects of improved refinery operations.

At 352.8 million barrels, current crude supplies are 0.4% above the year-earlier level and are above the upper limit of the average for this time of the year. The crude supply cover was down from 25.3 days in the previous week to 25.1 days. In the year-ago period, the supply cover was 25.1 days.

Crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma – the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures – rose 177,000 barrels in the latest week to reach 40.20 million barrels, just shy of the all-time high of 40.26 million barrels hit earlier this month.

Meanwhile, as a result of the continued glut in domestic oil stocks and concerns that the violence in Libya will boil over to other oil rich nations in the Middle East and lead to a supply shortfall, crude prices continue to march higher and are currently trending at around $105 a barrel.

Gasoline

Supplies of gasoline fell for the fifth successive week as firms cut down on inventories to facilitate the changeover from winter to summer-grade gasoline specifications. This was also helped by demand recovery, which improved by 244 thousand barrels per day.

These were somewhat offset by a 47 thousand barrels per day rise in import levels and a 282 thousand barrels per day increase in production.

The 5.32 million barrel drop – far ahead of projections – took gasoline stockpiles to 219.7 million barrels, down from a 20-year high of 241.1 million barrels in February. Current inventory levels are down 2.2% from year-earlier levels but are in the upper half of the average range.

Gasoline stockpiles have fallen by more than 21 million barrels since February 11, the biggest seasonal drawdown in 21 years.

Distillate

Distillate fuel inventories (including diesel and heating oil) were up by a meager 7,000 barrels last week, contrary to analyst expectations for a drawdown. The increase in distillate fuel supplies can be attributed to a rise in imports, faltering demand and healthy production.

At 152.6 million barrels, distillate supplies were 4.7% more than the year-ago level and also above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of the year.

Refinery Rates

Refinery utilization was up 0.7% from the prior week to 84.1%. Analysts were expecting the refinery run rate to increase 0.3% to 83.7%.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5514.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5516

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4580.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ZacksResearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Contact:
Mark Vickery
Web Content Editor
312-265-9380
Visit: www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



RELATED LINKS

http://www.zacks.com