Topic: How To Invest

I am considering investing in one of the major international oil companies. Could I have your opinion on Total S.A. and BP plc? Which one looks to be a better bet going forward? Thank you.

Article Excerpt

Total S.A. (ADR), $51.32, symbol TOT on New York (Shares outstanding: 2.3 billion; Market cap: $118.1 billion; www.total.com), is one of the world’s largest publicly traded integrated oil companies. Total is based in France. The company is engaged in various aspects of the oil and gas industry around the world. It also has interests in refineries, chemical production and service stations. In the three months ended September 30, 2011, Total’s earnings rose 23.8%, to $4.0 billion, or $1.75 per ADR. A year earlier, it earned $3.2 billion, or $1.42 per ADR. Revenue rose 25.7%, to $65.2 billion from $51.9 billion. The civil war in Libya cut the company’s production by 0.9%, to 2.3 million barrels a day. However, higher profits at the company’s refining and marketing businesses offset the drop in production. Total’s production is based outside Europe. The company is now expanding its exploration efforts into more politically unstable areas, including Azerbaijan and French Guyana. That adds risk, although it…

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