Dividends and Blowout

Yesterday post was about Saudi Aramco making billions of dollars as both demand and oil prices increased, as investors it is not hard to like that combination. With every industry and within every industry there are different sides of the prospective. It is good or bad, it depends.

A view of the other side is Rachel Maddow author of the book Blowout published by Crown, New York, 2019.

The oil and gas industry because it is based on a commodity that has high front end costs, but if oil is struck can and will pay out for years brings along many different characters. Some are outstanding citizens, some ensure the oil is drilled and connected to a pipeline which is connected to some device to allow everyday citizens to use the product whether it be gasoline or natural gas. In the oil and gas world, it is relative easy to see those who receive more than their share and do not share with others, there is a whole gambit of people.

John D Rockefller built his company on turning out the finest product on the market, at the lowest price to the consumer. Along the way he also monopolized the pipelines and refining, but the consumer had a inexpensive product to power gasoline engine vehicles. One of the companies that was in the Standard Oil orbit has become ExxonMobil, the largest oil and gas producer in the US. In the book, the author writes Rex Tillerson graduated from University of Texas in 1975 with a degree in civil engineering. Over the years at Exxon, he is a fully realized creature of the corporation’s business, intellectual and ethical culture. Tillerson believed deeply in Exxon’s overriding mission, which was to maximize shareholder profits. He also believed deeply in Exxon’s secondary mission which was to bring the world’s most vital commodity to market at a low cost. He maintained a vigilant watch for any forces that could threaten either endeavor.

For Rachel Maddow writes all US producers including ExxonMobil continue to enjoy subsidies and tax incentives that had been in the tax codes for almost a century. This helps keeps its annual tax bills low, now matter how high the profits. Ms. Maddow also writes about fracking both pro and con, including what happens when the oil industry does not like the results of reports.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, there are other companies profiled in Ms. Maddow’s book and on the surface of energy dependence there were and are reasons for the bias towards the energy companies. Some of the biases one wonders are they too much, but if you were an investor you like the status quo. In most industries, if you examine the reality, there are good people and bad people operating. One hopes the end result is more positive than negative, as an investor you have bias towards making profits to paying dividends.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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