Big Oil Takes Big Hit in Stocks' Dive

Demand slows, but company coffers plenty full ... for now
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2008 2:57 PM CDT
The oil tanker Aegean Blue is seen at Port Elizabeth in Elizabeth, NJ.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Oil companies’ stocks are plummeting, but the majors are comfortable with long-term plans and bulging coffers, the Wall Street Journal reports. The global economy is pushing crude prices down, and analysts think measures are necessary to keep share prices up. But larger outfits like Exxon made investments based on lower oil prices, and appear to be waiting out the storm.

Exxon stock is down 17% since the beginning of the year. Months of record oil prices, though, have left the company with billions of dollars on hand. BP was hit harder, off 38% in the last year, though a spokesman dismissed the trend. Even with cash in the bank, analysts agree that Big Oil must eventually adapt to sinking demand, and prices.