From: Washington Post
by Steven Mufson April 29
After 10 years at the helm of the world’s biggest publicly owned oil company, Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex W. Tillerson has had mostly gloomy news for shareholders lately. Profits were down by half last year, and down 63 percent in the first-quarter financial results announced Friday.
Buffeted by low petroleum prices, the oil giant has tightened its spending belt, slashing capital outlays by 33 percent in the first quarter. And it has been forced to borrow money to meet dividend payments, mortgaging a bit of tomorrow to pay shareholders today.
This week Standard & Poor’s downgraded the stock’s gold-plated triple A credit rating to double A plus, the first time Exxon lost its triple A rating since Harry Truman was president, the communists took over China, and the advent of color television.