Great Call on Exxon Mobil! What's Next?

I, for one, am not ready to give up on China yet. That said, I never supported the idea that China and the rest of its BRIC clique justified the sky-high oil prices that buoyed companies like Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM  ) . Since oil took a tumble, the stocks of powerful petro-producers like Exxon have fallen off their supposedly recession-proof thrones.

Of course, oil's slide from nearly $150 per barrel to today's low $40s hurt most for investors who were late to the petro party, and who started chasing oil stocks after the commodity was already well-inflated. Investors who have been bullish on Exxon over a longer time frame have often managed to glide above the rest of the market's dismal performance. CAPS member pnshark, for instance, is one of the score leaders for Exxon's stock on CAPS, earning 60 points by sticking with the stock from mid-2006 through today.

pnshark is one of CAPS' All-Stars -- players with a rating of 80 or greater -- and has managed a stock picking accuracy of 53% while racking up more than 480 points. Exxon isn't this player's only great call. Here's a look at a few other prescient picks:

Company

Date Picked

Call

Points

CAPS Rating

Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD  )

7/31/06

Outperform

132

***

Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI  )

6/13/06

Outperform

114

*****

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  )

6/17/06

Outperform

99

****

Data from CAPS.

So what is this investor looking at these days? Here are a few of pnshark's most recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD  )

2/20/09

Outperform

***

General Electric (NYSE: GE  )

2/20/09

Outperform

****

Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN  )

6/26/08

Outperform

*****

Data from CAPS.

While not all of these picks may pan out (no pun intended on those Gold Shares), they could be a good place to start some further research. I decided to take a closer look at General Electric.

The fall of the General
Does General Electric's 80%-plus haircut from its 52-week high mean that it's now a bargain? More than 12,000 CAPS members currently rate GE an outperformer, versus the less than 900 who think the stock will continue to trail the market.

One CAPS member, ken49620, recently gave GE a thumbs-up, writing that GE is too "good of a company to be held down for long. financials are hurting them." Meanwhile, Area513 chimed in by simply calling the stock "undervalued."

I'd really like to have a positive outlook for GE, because I think it has a bunch of great businesses under its wide-reaching roof. The company's two infrastructure segments -- energy and technology -- account for nearly half  of the company's revenue. They produce a broad range of crucial products for industries like oil exploration, health care, water treatment, and green energy. In my opinion, at least, GE's NBC also is the best of the TV networks -- though that could be my love of Tina Fey talking. And while consumer products like dishwashers and microwaves are a relatively small portion of total revenue, GE's products in that area are still very well-regarded.

But what do you do if your blind date is very attractive, but curses like a drunken sailor? That's exactly where I find myself with GE. Along with the company's attractive businesses, you also get a balance sheet with assets levered roughly 8-to-1 because of the company's huge finance segment. Now, your date may shout, "I can change!" as you walk out the door; GE's CEO Jeffrey Immelt has been doing so lately, suggesting that the company may scale down or even spin off its finance division.

Sorry, GE -- that just doesn't work for me right now. I will, however, be watching from the sidelines, hoping for the opportunity to invest in GE's infrastructure and media businesses without the threat of its teetering balance sheet.

What's your take on GE? Will its finance division prove me wrong and stand its ground? Get in the action by clicking over to CAPS. CAPS is absolutely free, and it already has more than 125,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Buffalo Wild Wings is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Infinera is a Rule Breakers pick. Activision Blizzard and Apple are Stock Advisor selections. The Fool owns shares of Infinera and Buffalo Wild Wings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. He is also keeping a close eye on some of these stocks through his CAPS portfolio. The Fool’s disclosure policy would have voted for Tina Fey in 2008, if disclosure policies weren't disenfranchised in the U.S.


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Related Tickers

11/26/2014 4:00 PM
GE $26.87 Up +0.01 +0.04%
General Electric C… CAPS Rating: ****
XOM $94.48 Down -0.30 -0.32%
ExxonMobil Corp CAPS Rating: ****
AAPL $119.00 Up +1.40 +1.19%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
ATVI $21.82 Up +0.09 +0.41%
Activision Blizzar… CAPS Rating: *****
BWLD $166.61 Down -0.85 -0.51%
Buffalo Wild Wings CAPS Rating: *****
GLD $115.16 Down -0.22 -0.19%
SPDR Gold Trust (E… CAPS Rating: **
INFN $13.68 Up +0.15 +1.11%
Infinera CAPS Rating: *****

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