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By Thomas A. Petrie

Fluctuations in offer and insist, suggestions in know-how, and altering laws have dramatically replaced the oil and fuel industries lately. This lawsuits explains the adjustments and explores their implications for the paintings of analysts and different funding pros.

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The quoted price of oil fell from $40 to $27 a barrel, but in light of the inflation of the period, the real price drop was even more dramatic. Demand collapsed, no money was being made in commodity chemicals or refining, and companies were leveraging up their balance sheets. Chevron and Texaco, with 12-13 percent debt-to-capital ratios,leveraged up to 50 percent to make big acquisitions. Other companies tried to diversify into retailing, mining, computer systems, and other unrelated businesses.

Actually, oil companies do not sell oil; the companies analyzed in this presentation are net buyers of oil. They sell gasoline. Their profits depend on economic growth and their ability to sell the gasoline products at a fair price that recovers not only crude oil costs but also prospective environmental spending. 43 Valuing Oil Securities Thomas P. , CFA Senior \nee President and Director ofEquity Research State Street Research & Management Company, Inc. s. reserves. Given such caveats, three valuation techniques predominate: asset valuation, ratio of price to cash flow, and relative dividend yield.

In 1984, Exxon broke out of this group! and its price-to-cash-flow multiple through the early 1990s exceeded those of the other companies. Someone investing on this basis might conclude either that Exxon is overpriced compared with the others or that some other factor-perhaps the quality of its earnings-is making investors pay a higher multiple of cash flow for Exxon's earnings. Exxon stock estab- Figure 2. / "I \ \ --- 1 75 77 79 '81 '83 '85 '87 '89 '91 - - - Cash Flow per Share - - - Earnings per Share Source: Compustat data through Factset.

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