Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has a long and illustrious history, which goes all the way back to its predecessor company, Standard Oil.
Standard Oil is quite simply one of the most legendary success stories of American business, and could be viewed as the “founding father” of the U.S. oil industry. In 1904 (near its market share peak), Standard Oil controlled 91% of oil production and 85% of final sales in the United States.
Standard Oil was founded back in 1870, by John D. Rockefeller. It started out as a two-man partnership between John D. Rockefeller and his brother William.
Standard Oil grew at such a rapid pace, that in 1911 it was dissolved by the U.S. Supreme Court on antitrust grounds. Standard Oil was separated into 34 smaller companies, which include many large companies today, such as ExxonMobil and its close competitor Chevron Corporation (CVX).
Today, ExxonMobil is the largest oil corporation in the world based on its market cap of $359 billion. For comparison, the 2nd largest is Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A), with a $208 billion market cap.
ExxonMobil and Chevron hold a special distinction that shows their durability. They are the only two Dividend Aristocrats in the Energy sector.
Being a Dividend Aristocrat is not some arbitrary distinction, either. The Dividend Aristocrats Index has performed exceptionally well over the last decade, as the image below shows:
Source: S&P Fact Sheet
To be a Dividend Aristocrat, a stock must have 25+ years of consecutive dividend increases. Dividend Aristocrats are often the strongest and most dominant stocks in their industry, as is the case with ExxonMobil. You can see all 50 Dividend Aristocrats here.
Keep reading this article to learn more about the investment prospects of ExxonMobil.