Citi Downgrades Chevron, Others On Lower Crude

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Analysts at Citi on Monday cut their rating on Chevron Corp. stock to neutral from buy, saying shares now offer "little upside" after outperforming big-oil peers in the past three months. The analysts also downgraded shares of Italy's Eni SA , Spain's Repsol , and Portugal's Galp Energia , saying the companies' business models and valuations will "look more challenged in a lower oil environment." The analysts kept buy ratings on BG Group , Total SA , ConocoPhillips , and BP PLC due to their "strong growth credentials." Citi kept its rating on Exxon Mobil Corp. at neutral. Oil companies' stock dividends are "safe for now," but share buybacks are likely to be dialed down so to preserve balance sheets for a prolonged period of lower prices or eventual acquisitions, the analysts said.

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