Across the board, 2013 has already been a strong year for oil and natural gas companies and we’re only five months into the year! What we have seen is that many of these oil and natural gas stocks have already made double digit gains on the year alone. This is one of the main reasons we have decided to focus this week on getting you invested in the right energy stocks.
When it comes to energy stocks, all we have been seeing is huge gains across the board and that’s why we believe this is a great time to invest in the energy sector. More importantly, we believe American based energy companies are set to produce some of the biggest returns over the next few years as there is a lot of speculation that we are entering an American Energy Boom that will propel these stocks higher. So here you go, our list of our Top 10 Energy Stocks:
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) Projections: +57.2%
A little over 19 months ago, we first recommended investors to BUY Halliburton as we saw it as a strong long-term investment. During those long 18 months, we unfortunately have nothing to show for it as shares are now trading at the same levels of where they were when we first initially invested. Our timing for HAL was originally wrong as we invested at the wrong moment as shares fell over 40% in the first 9 months due to falling oil prices and overall weakness in our global economy. Since then however, HAL has recovered quite nicely as shares are up +27% over the past 6 months and up +40% over the course of the past year as share prices are now back to where they were when we first initially invested. Fundamentally we still like Halliburton for all the same reasons, read our original article to find out more details.
Going forward, HAL’s outlook is very bullish with 91% of analysts covering HAL issuing a BUY rating or higher. Overall there are 32 analysts currently covering HAL and all but 3 think it’s a great BUY opportunity. If that doesn’t make you feel comfortable then maybe this will, HAL is represented in the equity portfolio of Soros Fund Management who holds a $34 million stake.
2013 has been a good year for HAL investors for several reasons. For one, HAL’s share price has appreciated +18% year-to-date, secondly in February Halliburton announced a +39% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.125 per share, and finally in its most recent quarter (Q1 2013), the oil and gas E&P play reported a record $7.0 billion. Halliburton’s management has stated that it’s focused on improving North American margins in the intermediate-term and we have no reason to doubt that they won’t accomplish this goal, as historically they have always been one of the most efficient management teams worldwide. If you’re looking from George Soros point of view, he might see HAL as the best way to play America’s energy boom.
Halliburton’s strength in the tight oil and gas space is underrated. Trading at 10.7 times forward earnings, HAL is cheap especially compared to its peers. Going forward we are very optimistic about HAL’s long-term outlook and believe that the company will continue to outperform against their competition and we believe they will position themselves as the leader of the American energy boom. As a result, we believe shares of HAL will be trading at $65 per-share 12-months from now which included with their annual dividend of 1.20% works out to be a total net yield of +57.2%.
Rex Energy (NYSE: REXX) Projections: +21%
Rex Energy has been a favorite of ours along with being one of our top-performing stock picks for both 2012 and 2013. We first recommended REXX as a strong BUY opportunity around a year ago. In that short time period, shares have soared over +78%. This probably lead to many investors to sell off their whole position thinking that the stock couldn’t rise any higher without however actually reanalyzing the company’s past and future performance, long-term projections, and overall outlook to see if there in fact is more potential still there. We did in fact take the time to reanalyze REXX and what we found was that while it had been a great year there was nothing to suggest that this run would stop or that REXX would lose value going forward. In fact, many key indicators led us to continue to be bullish on REXX. We did however sell half of our position recommending our readers to do the same as in case of a market correction it would protect our portfolio allowing us to play with the houses money rather than still having all our original starting capital at risk. To find out why we like REXX going forward simply click on the LINK below:
Going forward we expect REXX to continue to outperform their peers and have placed a 12-month price target of $20 per share, a total net yield of +21%.
Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) Projections: +27%
Range Resources stock price has steadily climbed throughout the past year as shares are up +21% year-to-date and +38% over the course of the past 12 months. Going forward, there is nothing to doubt that RRC won’t continue to rise higher as the company foresees production to grow between 20% to 25% over the course of the next few years. RRC’s total resource potential is estimated to be anywhere between 50 to 70 trillion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas. Being a low-cost producer, RRC should yield exceptional profits from these upbeat production numbers.
We also believe that RRC’s new strategy and focus on per-share growth instead of focusing on growth at all costs will be a big driving force for the company going forward and we believe it will be a key factor in sending share prices even higher. With increased production and exports expected to continue to grow there is little to suggest that Range Resource’s stock won’t stop continuing to steadily rise higher. In fact, we think RRC will be a big winner going forward and we expect shares prices to hit $95 over the course of the next 12 months, a total yield of +27%.
Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN) Projections: +40%
Southwestern Energy has made some key recent capital investments that we believe will only further strengthen the company’s long-term outlook as well as sending share prices significantly higher. SWN recently doubled down on its Marcellus acreage, purchasing 162,000 acres from Chesapeake Energy for $93 million. Being the discoverer of the Marcellus play, SWN made the most of its first-mover advantage as they have continued to improve their operations within the acreage. This strategic investment has greatly strengthened SWN’s overall outlook going forward leading to an increase in their overall projections across the board.
Even as SWN expands, the bulk of their assets are still in the Fayetteville Shale. SWN’s strategic capital investments have been crucial providing the company with a low-cost structure that will help SWN profit even if gas prices were to fall or weaken. Shares of SWN rose +37% over the course of the past year, to many investors that is a great return but when you dig deeper and see the long-term potential you realize that SWN is just getting started. The combination of both SWN’s smart and strategic investments along with their luck in what they discovered has led to increased optimism on SWN’s overall long-term outlook. These findings have also led to many analysts across Wall Street upping their projections adding an additional +30% upside to SWN from current levels. The biggest news of all might be that SWN’s recent acquisitions has led to them becoming a new position in the hedge fund managed by George Soros, the fund disclosed a $16.7 million position in Southwestern Energy.
Following a strong first quarter where SWN posted an annual increase in production of 11% along with earnings of $0.36 per share versus $0.30 EPS just a year ago representing solid growth. Add in the recent developments, acquisitions, and investments and SWN has become a much more interesting play and one that holds a lot more potential and value now going forward. We project shares of SWN to be trading at $52 per-share 12-months from now, a total net yield of +40%.
Ultra Petroleum Corp (NYSE: UPL) Projections: +63%
Just like RRC, Ultra Petroleum is another low-cost producer utilizing a new strategy to increase overall future production. UPL are now using their cost position to focus on profitable growth. UPL has cut back its capital program to make sure they invest within their cash flow. In doing so, they were able to trim off more than a billion dollars from their capital plans for this year alone. Going forward, the company will have the ability to spend more capital as cash flow increases. UPL’s management team has chosen this strategy to keep the business more efficient and cash flow positive. They want to avoid the possibility of any possible cash flow problems going forward and this new strategy will allow for them to stay within their means and only spend what they can afford to.
UPL has robust projections when it comes to future production, as they believe that by 2016 they can grow their production by 42% while their EBITDA will more than double. These conservative projections only assume a minimal rise in natural gas prices, however it’s very likely that the price of natural gas will rise above the $4.50 price that Ultra is modeling it to be by 2016. If this is true and natural gas prices do rise higher, then UPL will easily exceed their projections benefiting the business in many different positive ways. For one, higher natural gas prices will lead to an increase in both total revenue and overall profit for UPL. In turn, this will lead to higher cash flow numbers giving UPL more capital to reinvest back within the business which will only further promote increased growth and production. In turn, all of these added benefits will lead to a stronger long-term outlook for UPL, leading them to beat all future earnings estimates which will only further propel the stock to rise higher and higher.
UPL is already having a strong year in 2013, as share prices are up +28% year-to-date. Going forward, we firmly believe that UPL will be a quick riser and we project shares to be trading at $37 per-share 12 months from now, a total net yield of +63%.
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) +33%
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) is a large, United States based, crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company. The firm markets, processes, produces, develops, and explores for crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Most of Anadarko’s revenues come from onshore United States as well as deep-water operations in Algeria and the Gulf of Mexico. Other deep-water operations include operations along both coasts of Africa, Brazil, China, Indonesia, and New Zealand. Proved oil and gas reserves were 2,560 million barrels of oil equivalent BOE in 2012 with a reserve mix of 46% liquids and 54% natural gas. Last year total production increased 10% and we expect this number to increase going forward as Anadarko plans to spend about $5.5 billion on onshore capital expenditures in the United States in 2013 alone. Due to current low natural gas prices, Anadarko plans to reduce activities at Marcellus and Pinedale/Jonah to free-up resources for more profitable projects.
Last year international production accounted for 27% of total revenues and we expect this number to increase as APC plans to spend $1 billion in capital expenditures on its international operations. In 2012, APC made some significant discoveries of oil in Ghana and natural gas in Mozambique. The natural gas discovery in Mozambique is very large with a base estimated at 35-65 trillion cubic feet equivalent. We think APC is a great value stock especially at its current price. Anadarko is trading at $86.10 per share with a total market cap of more than $43.1 billion. Anadarko has an inexpensive forward earnings multiple of 16.5 times 2013 earnings as well as a PEG ratio of 1.04. APC has strong analyst coverage as well, 90% of the 30 analysts covering the stock have a BUY rating or higher.
APC has the right mix of onshore U.S. developments and foreign exploration projects to continue to thrive and produce great revenue numbers going forward. New discoveries such as the recent APC findings in the Gulf of Mexico and in Mozambique should be very profitable in the long run. Another strength about APC is despite natural gas prices being really low, they have continued to remain profitable despite the fact they are a major natural gas producer. This is why APC will be such a big winner if natural gas prices increase. APC is a great oil play to own and the added benefit of having exposure to natural gas markets is a huge bonus. We believe natural gas prices have bottomed and will inevitably rise. The consensus on Wall Street among analysts is the same. When that does happen, Natural Gas producers like APC will reap large profits. For all these reasons mentioned above, we believe APC is a great BUY opportunity. The current average 12-month price target for APC is $110, we believe in 12-months APC will be trading at $115, a 33% total yield!
Apache (NYSE: APA) +37%
Apache is an oil & gas company operating in several countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K North Sea, Argentina, Australia, and Egypt. At the end of 2012, it had around 2.85 billion BOE in proved reserves, concentrated in the U.S. and Canada. The proved reserves and the Permian/Central Resources total around 11.7 billion BOE, four times higher than the current proved reserves. The U.S. Permian Basin accounted for around 28% of the company’s total reserves. The company is considered the most active driller in the Permian Basin with around 38 operating rigs.
What makes me interested in Apache is its conservative capital structure. As of March 2013, it had nearly $32 billion in equity, $248 million in cash, and only $11.5 billion in long-term debt. Moreover, Apache is a consistent dividend payer. Its dividend increased from $0.21 per share in 2003 to $0.66 per share in 2012. For the full year 2013, Apache expects to push its costs down, increase its dividend, and restructure its asset portfolio. The company expects to divest $4 billion in assets, and then it would use $2 billion to reduce its debt level and the remaining amount to repurchase 30 million shares. APA currently has a great revenue numbers and management has shown its effectiveness as they have produced great ROE & ROA numbers. Apache is trading at $84.90 per share with a total market of nearly $33.3 billion. The market values Apache at only 9.5 times its forward earnings.
While the markets and competing oil stocks have had a great year so far with S&P up 15%, APA on the other hand has been sluggish appreciating only 8%. Despite this, APA is held by many famous investors, most importantly oil guru, T. Boone Pickens as APA accounts for 9.5% of Pickens portfolio, his second largest position. Compared to peers Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Apache is valued the cheapest. As a result, investors should invest in APA due to its lowest earnings valuation, strong balance sheet, and the potential asset sales. If it could divest $4 billion in assets this year, Apache could drive its EPS higher, thanks to the potential share repurchases and debt reduction. Analysts across Wall Street agree that APA is undervalued with an average 12-month price target of $110. We believe Apache will be trading at $117 in 12-months, a yield of 36%. Add on a 0.90% dividend and you have a total yield of 36.90%!
Eni SpA (NYSE: E) +26%
Eni SpA (NYSE: E), an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, transformation, and marketing of oil and natural gas. Eni SpA has a market cap of $84.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Year-to-date E is down 8%, opening up a buy opportunity for many investors. We consider Eni SpA to be a great BUY opportunity. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels.
We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Revenue growth has been a strength for E as they greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.9%. On top of that, revenues rose by 42.8% over the past year. Growth in the company’s revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. We expect this kind of earnings growth to continue propelling ENI SPA and sending the stock price higher. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 65.5% when compared to the same quarter one-year prior, rising from $1,972.25 million to $3,264.41 million.
The company has come along ways in a year. Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market’s overall trend during that period and the fact that the company’s earnings growth has been robust. While ENI SPA doesn’t receive much analyst coverage with only 3 analysts covering the stock (1 Strong Buy, 1 Buy, 1 Hold) that doesn’t mean it’s not a great investment opportunity. The fact it is relatively unknown adds to more potential as if they continue to increase earnings year after year they will soon get recognized and soar significantly higher as a result. ENI SPA is also a great dividend play with a dividend yield of 5.20%. Overall, we believe ENI SPA is a great long-term BUY opportunity and have a 12-month price target of $65 per share, a yield of 21%. Add to that a dividend of 5.20% and you have a total yield of 26.20%
Chevron (NYSE: CVX) +23%
Chevron is the second largest U.S. integrated energy company. For investors who like strong growth, dividend stocks then Chevron is the right pick for you. CVX has been an avid dividend grower for decades, with an average annualized dividend growth of 9.1% over the past five years. Its dividend growth rate over that period was lower than its EPS growth rate, which stood at 13.7%, on average. Among its main competitors, CVX has had the highest rate of dividend growth since 2004. Even though the company is expected to post a paltry EPS CAGR of less than 1% for the next five years on average, its solid cash flow generation will likely support continued dividend increases. Chevron explicitly states that one of its consistent financial priorities is to “maintain and grow dividend.”
CVX has a strong balance sheet, with $17.3 billion in cash and only $12.1 billion in long-term debt. Its long-term debt is only 8.6% of its stockholders’ equity. CVX has the highest profitability per barrel among its peers and the highest cumulative cash flow per share expansion over the past five years. Thus, its case is supported by leading earnings and cash margins, strongest future volume growth among its main peers, and solid shareholder value enhancement potential.
It should be noted that the company is known for its generous share buyback programs – it returned $5 billion in share repurchases last year alone. Chevron is currently covered by 25 analysts, of which 67% hold a BUY rating or higher. We are among the group that believes CVX is a great buy opportunity and we hold a 12-month price target of $145, a yield of 20%. Add to that Chevron’s 3.20% dividend and CVX is set to return a 23.20% annual return.
Total SA (NASDAQ: TOT) +45%
Total SA is the main French integrated oil company, operating worldwide and employing more than 95,000 people worldwide. The company deals with all aspects of the oil & gas chain, from exploration to production, refining, transportation and marketing. Total keeps announcing new oil discoveries, a growing production and improving results and dividends. Moreover, the French company’s strategy is now to focus on exploration and invest in riskier/growing sectors such as shale gas in the U.S. or bituminous sand in Canada. Total has been ramping up its efforts to rejoin the big boys of the oil and gas sector. The company has achieved a strong production base in Africa, and for the next three years, it is striving to capitalize in the Middle East as well by building a $1.5 billion condensate refinery in Qatar.
Total SA is currently undergoing several other projects to position itself as one of the most competitive in the industry along with the goal of increasing its profits and market share. These, in turn, will more likely improve the market share of the company and its stock price. The P/E ratio of the company stands at ’10.17’, which shows that the stock price is equally valued. On the other hand, P/B indicates that the stock price is discounted relative to the industry average of ‘2.49’, making it attractive to investors. Price to Earnings per Growth indicates the Total is currently trading at a premium as compared to the industry average. However, it is trading at a discount compared to major players in the industry. Other major reasons to buy Total are, for one they are the leaders in the oil & gas sector and invest massively in exploration. The company just got several licenses in the new potential Artic fields. Total is also investing in the solar and biomass energies, which should drive the revenues at long term. Total’s objective is to invest $22 Billion annually between 2012 and 2014 while selling off $20 Billion of assets by 2014. TOT also offers a great dividend yield of more than 4.5% right now, which has kept growing over the years. Total developed a good payout ratio of 45% in 2011 as well as a strong link with its investors over the years.
Overall we believe TOTAL SA is a great BUY opportunity based on their attractive valuation level as seen in its P/E which is well discounted in comparison to the industry average. On top of that, the company shows outstanding financial performance as seen in its high earnings yield and high revenue growth. The future outlook of the company looks promising as it continuously embarks on several modernization and innovative projects such as the Antwerp refining and Port Arthur shale gas which can boost its profit and position the company as one of the most competitive company in the industry. Our 12-month price target for TOT is $72 per share, a yield of 40%. Add on a 4.5% dividend and you have a total net yield of 44.5%.