Exxon Mobil Corporation's XOM third quarter earnings exceeded expectations. The oil and natural gas behemoth's strong third-quarter results were aided by robust oil and gas prices as well as healthier fuel margins.
Exxon Mobil's encouraging earnings results had a positive impact on the energy sector and boosted investors' sentiment. Following the promising development, investing in energy mutual funds with a significant holding in the Irving-based company will be prudent.
Solid Q3 Earnings
The largest publicly traded integrated energy company's earnings per share of $1.46 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.21. The bottom line also improved from the year-earlier quarter's 93 cents. Total revenues in the quarter rose to $76,605 million from $61,100 million a year ago, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $72,455 million.
The energy giant returned $3.5 billion to its shareholders through dividends. Capital and exploration spending rose roughly 10% year over year to $6.6 billion. Additionally, investors' should know that healthy oil prices also backed smaller rival Chevron Corp.'s CVX third-quarter results.(Read More: ExxonMobil Q3 Earnings Surpass Estimates, Improve Y/Y )
The energy sector is one of the strong performers in the past five days. Ithas increased 1.3% during the period, becoming a key sector on the S&P 500.
Buy These 3 Top-Ranked Energy Mutual Funds
Here we have selected three energy mutual funds that have significant exposure to Exxon Mobil. Moreover, these funds carry a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The question here is: why should investors consider mutual funds? Reduced transaction costs and diversification of portfolio without several commission charges that are associated with stock purchases are primarily why one should be parking money in mutual funds (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How They Make Investors Money ).
These funds also have encouraging one-year returns and minimum initial investment within $5000. Also, each of these funds has a low expense ratio.
We expect these funds to outperform their peers in the future. Remember, the goal of the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank is to guide investors to identify potential winners and losers. Unlike most of the fund-rating systems, the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank is not just focused on past performance, but also on the likely future success of the fund.
Fidelity Select Energy FSENX invests a huge chunk of its assets in securities of companies that are engaged mainly in the energy field. FSENX seeks growth of capital and invests mainly in common stocks. The fund focuses on acquiring securities of both U.S. and non-U.S. companies.
FSENX carries an expense ratio of 0.78% compared with the category average of 1.35%. Moreover, FSENX requires a minimal initial investment of $2,500. The fund has three-year annualized returns of 1.6%.
FSENX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1. John Dowd is the fund manager of FSENX since 2006. Further, as of the last filing, FSENX held 3.84% of its assets invested in Exxon Mobil. The energy behemoth is the seventh-biggest holding of FSENX.
Vanguard Energy Investor VGENX invests a major portion of its assets in equity securities, including common stocks of companies from the energy sector. VGENX normally invests in stocks of companies that are engaged in the production, marketing, transmission and research of energy. The fund seeks growth of capital for the long run.
VGENX carries an expense ratio of 0.38% compared with the category average of 1.35%. Moreover, VGENX requires a minimal initial investment of $3,000. The fund has three-year annualized returns of 5.9%.
VGENX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1. James P. Stetler is one of the fund managers of VGENX since 2012. Further, as of the last filing, VGENX held 7.79% of its assets invested in Exxon Mobil. The oil company is the biggest holding of VGENX.
T. Rowe Price New Era Fund PRNEX seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in the common stocks of companies that own or develop natural resources and other basic commodities and in the stocks of selected non-resource growth companies. The tangible assets and earnings of this natural resources company are likely to gain from growing inflation periods.
PRNEX carries an expense ratio of 0.69% compared with the category average of 1.39%. Moreover, PRNEX requires a minimal initial investment of $2,500. The fund has three-year annualized returns of 5.9%.
PRNEX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1. Shawn T. Driscoll is the fund manager of PRNEX since 2013. Further, as of the last filing, PRNEX held 2.56% of its assets invested in Exxon Mobil. The company is the fourth-biggest holding of PRNEX.
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