Raymond James cut Exxon Mobil Corp to market perform from outperform, saying it does not expect shares of the oil major to outperform in an environment of steadily rising oil prices. Analysts, led by Pavel Molchanov, said they still see much potential in Exxon with industry leading returns on equity, solid balance sheet and steady execution.

But sometimes, being the ultimate energy 'blue chip' could be a disadavantage. We envision 2010 being one of those times, they added.

Additionally, the analysts upgraded Hess Corp to strong buy from outperform, saying that while catalysts in recent quarters were meager, there is a plateful for 2010.

Shares of Exxon were up 1 percent at $69.16, while that of Hess were up 4 percent at $63.18 Monday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)