Energy Business

Big Oil's Top Stock for 2011 (XOM, CVX, COP, RDS-A, BP, DIG, DUG)

Jon C. Ogg

How big oil stocks perform in 2011 will be highly dependent on the price of crude oil. That’s not a particularly original thought, but it remains true nonetheless. The price of crude fluctuated from below $65/barrel in May of this year to above $91/barrel in the past week. It’s no coincidence that shares in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), and ConocoPhillips Corp. (NYSE: COP) posted new 52-week highs earlier this week. Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE: RDS-A) posted a 52-week high in early November, and BP plc (NYSE: BP) has still not recovered from the Gulf Oil spill although shares have jumped more than 60% since BP’s 52-week low in June.

We noted yesterday that the big oil companies are expected to spend more than $100 billion in exploration and production activities in 2011. The big jump reflects the companies’ expectations that prices will stay high, certainly above $80/barrel for 2011.

Here’s a short table showing the tickers, the current price, the mean target price from Thomson Reuters, the implied upside to that target, and the 52-week trading range.  We’ll add some color after the chart.

Stock Current Mean Target Implied Gain 52-week Range
XOM $73.37 $74.77 0.019 55.94 – 73.69
CVX $91.37 $94.88 0.038 66.83 – 92.39
COP $67.93 $64.35 -0.05 46.63 – 68.30
RDS-A $66.45 $73.00 0.099 49.16 – 68.55
BP $43.95 $46.66 0.061 26.75 – 62.38