Big Oil’s Big Paradox: Record Profits, Low Stock Valuations

Big Oil has never been more profitable, but it has hardly ever been a smaller part of the stock market. That’s enough to make industry executives feel unappreciated. “We’re grossly undervalued,” says BP CEO Bernard Looney.

He has a point. The top five oil companies just posted their best earnings ever: $180 billion in net income in 2022, more than the gross domestic product of half the countries in the world. Normally, that kind of performance would leave them sitting pretty on piles of cash and exorbitant stock valuations.

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