Unless you have been out of the country, then the chances are good you are seeing the lowest prices for gasoline in the past two years. In fact, in many parts of the United States, gas has fallen below $3 a gallon and could be headed lower. The question is whether the OPEC countries will start to feel the pain and hold an emergency meeting to discuss a cut in production.
In a new research note, the Jefferies analysts see a possible production cut of 400,000 to 500,000 barrels per day by Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2015. With top energy stocks, both production and oil services, getting hammered, they have a very short list of stocks to buy now. We screened the stocks for the top, large cap companies.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is a top integrated name that Jefferies is bullish on. The company has maintained a decent lead in unit upstream profitability. That is figured as net income per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). While the lead is expected to be maintained, many Wall Street analysts are interested in hearing commentary on further improvement due to better project mix.
The stock is down almost 20% from the highs printed this summer and may be offering investors a solid entry point. Chevron shareholders are paid a very solid 3.75% dividend. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $134.76. Shares closed trading Friday at $113.89.
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) now leads its oils services competition with North American margins of 18.2%, and it also plans to increase its allocation for its operations in North America. The company recently announced a $1 billion investment to develop huge potential oil fields in Ecuador and has entered into a long-time deal with Petroamazonas, an Ecuador-based company involved in the exploration and development of the country’s oil reserves.
With oil being absolutely demolished recently, this top oil service company is a great stock to buy on sale. Halliburton shareholders are paid a 1.0% dividend. The consensus price target is $81.56, and the stock ended Friday at $57.28.
Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) is another top oil services stock the Jefferies analysts like now. The company’s fleet includes 322 U.S. land rigs, 30 international land rigs and nine offshore platform rigs. That diversification makes it a top play for investors looking to own the segment, especially after the stock has been hit so hard, down almost 20% since highs posted this past summer.
Helmerich and Payne shareholders are paid a very respectable 3.2% dividend. The consensus price target is $114.33, and shares closed trading Friday at $113.26.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) announced it will continue to grow dividends and expects to begin buying back more shares this year and beyond, a double plus for shareholders. Occidental is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies, based on equity market capitalization. The company’s midstream and marketing segment gathers, processes, transports, stores, purchases and markets hydrocarbons and other commodities in support of Occidental’s businesses. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary OxyChem manufactures and markets chlor-alkali products and vinyls.
Occidental shareholders are paid a 3.15% dividend. The stock closed Friday at $91.56, and its consensus price target is $109.27.
Tumbling oil futures combined with a very bad market are putting some top energy stocks on sale. Investors looking to add energy to portfolio holdings may want to scale in partial purchases and see if the market doesn’t continue the recent downward direction.