Truist is finding several positives in Exxon Mobil ‘s deal to buy Pioneer Natural Resources . Analyst Neal Dingmann upgraded the oil stock to buy from hold, saying Pioneer’s strong Permian Basin position and the incorporation of some of its key employees will enable Exxon Mobil to attain a superior domestic well productivity position. “While we forecast moderate near-term incremental earnings/cash flow from Exxon acquiring Pioneer (PXD, Hold), we anticipate more pronounced longer-term benefits in ’25+ given the notably more productive proforma US inventory,” he wrote. Exxon Mobil announced Wednesday that it agreed to buy Pioneer Natural Resources at $253 per share in an all-stock deal, or $59.5 billion. The deal, which will mark Exxon’s largest acquisition since buying Mobil more than two decades ago, is expected to close in the first half of 2024. Exxon Mobil’s stock sits a little over 3% lower for the year. Shares have pulled back more than 9% since the start of October, as oil prices declined after hitting their highest levels in over a year last month. Despite the recent share performance, the Wall Street firm sees more upside ahead for Exxon Mobil, upping its price to $131 from $110 a share. The adjustment implies about 23% upside from Wednesday’s close. XOM 1M mountain Exxon Mobil shares over the last month Dingmann also expects the Pioneer acquisition — and ongoing operating improvements — to keep Exxon Mobil on the path toward accomplishing its $9 billion cost savings plan, while leading to new cost tightening over the longer term. The company should also benefit from lower oilfield services costs, he added. “While labor and various other costs remain challenging, XOM will have the benefit of running by far the largest US operation resulting in [oilfield equipment and services] concessions many other [exploration and production companies] will not be privy to,” he said. “We believe XOM could see some of the highest service cost deflation given the service companies’ desires to have its business.” — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.