Money rather than moral outrage is the probable motivation for the lawsuits. Exxon-Mobil’s (XOM) financial numbers indicate the company is generating a lot of money.
For example, Exxon-Mobil reports a free cash flow of $2.853 billion; and an operating cash flow of $7.78 billion, for 2nd Quarter 2018. Moreover, Exxon-Mobil earned a $23.799 billion gross profit on $73.501 billion in revenues during the 2nd Quarter.
Exxon-Mobile received a $3.95 billion net income and a $6.659 billion in operating income in 2nd Quarter 2018. However, Exxon-Mobile had only $3.43 billion in cash and short-term investments on June 30, 2018.
Therefore, Exxon-Mobil is not making that much money for a company that generated $244.363 billion in revenue in 2017. Exxon-Mobil generates a lot of revenues but it does not keep that much money in the bank.
Another problem is that Exxon-Mobil’s high revenue growth (26.56% in 2nd Quarter 2018) is not translating into cash. The return on Exxon-Mobil’s revenues is low.