The long running saga that is the construction of TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) Keystone XL pipeline may be coming to an end. Designed to transport oil from the Athabasca oil sands in Canada to refineries in the United States, the project has been a political hot potato from the start. Despite arguments from environmental groups and political wrangling from various states, the project finally appears close to approval. The House GOP budget plan that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will unveil today requires federal approval of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Washington D.C.-based Strategas Research policy analyst Daniel Clifton thinks there is a better than 50% chance the pipeline will be approved by late summer, despite environmental objections. If so, this leg could begin operation in late 2015. Better access to Canada’s oil sands and crude oil extracted in the Bakken shale will benefit producers, as well as Gulf Coast refiners. In a recent research note, the analyst highlighted an array of stocks likely to benefit from the Keystone XL pipeline. Those stocks are:
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (NYSE: CNQ) is an Alberta-based independent oil and gas exploration company that has a Thomson/First Call consensus price target of $38.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids around the world. The Wall St. price target for ConocoPhillips is $64. Investors also can take advantage of a rich 4.5% dividend.
Construction equipment leader Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) is likely to benefit from the pipeline. Shares are trading close to a 52-week high and the consensus price target is $102. The stock also pays a 2.20% dividend.
American giant Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is the only large integrated oil company on the Strategas list. The consensus price target is $96, and investors receive a 2.60% dividend.
Netherlands-based refiner and chemical company LyondellBasell Industries N.V.(NYSE: LYB) makes the list. The consensus price target for this basic materials leader is $70.
Houston-based infrastructure construction company Quanta Services Inc. (NYSE: PWR) is expected to be a big winner. The consensus price target is $33.
Another refiner poised to benefit from the Keystone pipeline is Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO). The stock has been on fire since last June and has a consensus price target of $50.
The State Department is leading the Obama administration review of whether to grant a cross-border permit for TransCanada Corp.’s massive Keystone XL project, but the final call is expected to come from the White House. Under enormous pressure to create jobs and boost the economy, the president seems destined to approve it despite misgivings.
The bottom line for investors is that all the companies on the Strategas list that may benefit from the construction and completion of the pipeline are already doing well and have solid prospects for 2013 and beyond. Adding incremental revenue from such a large and needed project should only help to improve their top and bottom lines.