Energy Business

Jefferies Oil Service Stocks to Buy as U.S. Produces More Oil Than It Imports

Government projections show that in September, for the first time in almost two decades, the United States will produce more oil than it imports. Nor will that be a fluke; the trend is expected to continue. Domestic oil production is expected to outstrip imports by an increasingly wide margin throughout 2014. The Oil Services and Equipment analysts at Jefferies see this monumental turning point in American production as a very positive catalyst for the stocks they cover.

From standard onshore services to deepwater jackup rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the leading companies are in a tremendous position as the American oil production boom marches forward. Here are the top stocks to buy at Jefferies.

Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) will be a major benefactor in the expected 10% rise in exploration and production spending this year. Jefferies has a $54 price target for the stock. The Thomson/First Call estimate is at $50. Investors are paid a 1.2% dividend.

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) is up 27% over the past six months and up 40% over the course of the past year, and it still is an outstanding value. Jefferies has a $49 target, while the consensus is at $50. Investors receive a 1.2% dividend.

Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (NYSE: PES) makes the most of earnings and expanding margins. Over the trailing 12 months, the gross margin is at 35.2%, while the operating margin is 6.8%. Jefferies has a $9 target, and the consensus for the stock is actually higher at $10.

Cameron International Corp. (NYSE: CAM) ranks high on the list of stocks to buy. The company appears to have meaningful untapped margin leverage, as well as significant revenue and cash flow growth prospects. Jefferies has placed a $75 target on the stock, the same as the consensus target.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) may be one of the most favored names on Wall Street. The company has increased its annual revenue by a factor of 10 since 2003, largely through an aggressive strategy of acquisitions. From 2008 through the first quarter of 2013, the company spent $9.6 billion in acquisitions. During that time annual revenue increased from $13.4 billion to $20 billion. Jefferies has an impressive $85 target, and the consensus figure is at $84.

Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) has a projected 25% growth rate this year, 20% next year and a multitude of new analysts upgrades. Jefferies sees a $60 price target, and the consensus estimate for the stock is at $60 as well. At less than 12 times earnings, this may be one of the best values on the Jefferies list.

Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE: RDC) operating cash flow is double its net income, while sales have grown 48% during the past year. Jefferies price objective is $39, and the consensus target is at $38.

Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) has been a solid earnings story. For the past three years, the company has seen strong revenue and margin growth. During this period, the company also has increased its total assets while paying off its debt. The Jefferies price objective is at $74, while consensus is lower at $70. Investors receive a 1% dividend.

We recently have written about the distinct possibility of eventual American energy independence. Investors should consider adding some of the top oilfield services names to their portfolio to exploit what may be one of the greatest American business trends of the century.