Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) are in the spotlight after the company’s vice president of corporate strategy and planning disclosed an insider sale. XOM stock has had an excellent 2022 so far and are up over 60% year-to-date. The stock’s performance has been buoyed by the rising price of oil. As demand rises faster than supply can accommodate, prices for oil will rise as well. On top of that, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused further supply pressure.
Meanwhile, people have returned to traveling as pandemic fears have waned, further exasperating demand. Today, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline sits at $4.97. A year ago, the price was $3.06. Prices for crude oil, which is the major component to produce gasoline, have shot up over 55% year-to-date to $121.50 per barrel.
Despite the increase in gas, Exxon VP Darrin Talley reported selling shares on June 7. Let’s get into the details.
VP Darrin Talley Sells XOM Stock
Talley sold 2,147 shares at an average price of $102.81 per share. The shares were sold through his revocable trust that he holds with his wife. In total, the transaction amounted to $220,774. Furthermore, the sale was not enacted via a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan.
After the sale, Talley still directly owns 126,050 shares. The VP also indirectly owns 36,278 shares through various financial vehicles, such as through his trust and savings plan.
So, why exactly did Talley make this sale? Insiders are not required to disclose reasons behind their transactions. However, insiders may sell for a variety of reasons, whether it be for tax obligations, general purposes, realizing profits, or a loss of faith in the company. It certainly doesn’t seem as if Talley has lost faith in his company, as he still owns over 160,000 shares. Talley likely sold to profit off of an amazing year of returns for Exxon Mobil.
On June 7, Evercore ISI analyst Stephen Richardson raised his XOM price target from $88 to $120. The analyst believes that the current valuation are still attractive and is more than 20% below the levels seen between 2011 and 2014. Richardson also believes that Exxon will increase its second quarter and full year guidance due to rising oil and gas prices. In the long term, he predicts that earnings growth should be driven upwards by upstream upgrades in several countries.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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