ExxonMobil has been kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index and replaced by Salesforce.com, a technology company that sells software that allows large companies to track sales and other information, according to CBS News. The move came after Apple announced a 4 for 1 stock split that takes effect on August 31. In a statement reported by Market Watch, S&P Dow Jones said the Apple split would reduce the weight of technology stocks in its index of 30 stocks.
“The announced changes help offset that reduction. They also help diversify the index by removing overlap between companies of similar scope and adding new types of businesses that better reflect the American economy.” The changes would also help the Dow “add new types of businesses that better reflect the American economy,” the company added. Other changes to the DJIA include drug company Amgen replacing Pfizer and Honeywell International replacing Raytheon.
ExxonMobil was added to the Dow index 92 years ago as Standard Oil of New Jersey and is currently the oldest member of the index. The Dow’s last original member, General Electric, was removed in 2018, according to CBS. Until 2012, ExxonMobil was the most valuable corporation in America with a valuation approaching $400 billion. It was surpassed by Apple in that year. Apple is now valued at close to $2 trillion while Exxon’s valuation has slipped to $175 billion. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Part of the reason for Exxon’s sinking valuation is its exposure to claims that it lied repeatedly over the past 50 years (or more) about what it knew regarding the impact its products have on the environment. It has been targeted along with other oil majors in a number of suits brought by state and local governments demanding that it pay for the enormous mess it has created. Such claims could cost the company trillions.
Demand for oil has also flat lined because of the coronavirus pandemic, driving many small companies that specialize in fracking to file bankruptcy. Of course, bankruptcy is always the out card corporations can play to walk away free and clear when the damage they cause becomes too great. When that happens, governments and ultimately the taxpayers get left holding the bag. Watch for something like that to happen with the once all mighty ExxonMobil in the near future.
Featured image courtesy Justin Stumberg/U.S. Navy
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