Energy Business

4 Defensive Oil Exploration and Production Stocks to Buy Now

Range Resources

This company is a defensive natural gas stock that the Cowen team likes now. Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC) holds interests in developed and undeveloped natural gas and oil leases in the Appalachian and Southwestern regions of the United States. The company owns 7,582 net producing wells and approximately 1.4 million net acres under lease in the Appalachian region, and 653 net producing wells and approximately 383,000 net acres under lease in the Midcontinent region.

Some Wall Street reports suggest that the company will be sending more gas to the Midwest and Ontario, as it likes the large in place pipeline system, significant storage and additional coal to gas displacement opportunities. The company continues to pursue an organic growth strategy targeting high-return, low-cost projects within its large inventory of low risk, development drilling opportunities.

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Range Resources investors are paid a small 0.3% dividend, and shares have been walloped to the tune of almost 50% over the past year. The Cowen target is a set at $73, with the consensus target at $69.78. The stock closed Wednesday way below those levels at $45.30.

Cimarex Energy

This company is a top play for investors looking to the Permian Basin. Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) is an independent exploration and production company with primary activities in the Midcontinent and Permian Basin areas of the United States. The company is focused on increasing shareholder value through strategies linked to generating attractive economic returns on capital employed and profitable growth in per-share reserves, production and cash flow. Cimarex intends to profitably grow reserves and production through a balanced mix of exploration, exploitation and acquisitions.

Cimarex has a diversified base of high-quality production and attractive drilling opportunities, and should be closing on a huge oil and gas asset sale by the end of the summer. It should be noted that hedge fund gurus Steve Cohen and George Soros initiated sizable new position in the company recently.

Investors are paid a small 0.6% dividend. The Cowen price target is a whopping $154, while the consensus target is set at $134.81. Shares closed Wednesday at $103.69.

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Needless to say, these stocks bounced hard off the January lows and many have since given back almost all the gains. Any of these four top energy stocks to buy are suitable for patient aggressive growth accounts, and now may be a good time to at least scale in some capital.

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