Credit Suisse Raises Price Targets on 4 Refining Stocks to Buy

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While low crude pricing can be a burden on the top integrateds and exploration and production companies, it is welcomed by the refiners, which have for the most part, had an awesome run over the past year. A new Credit Suisse research piece says that seasonal slowdowns combined with bears trying to press shorts could force a near-term sell down.

Credit Suisse also says to watch for any sell-off, especially now in November, because any consolidation in the sector may give investors a perfect chance to scale buy shares. The analysts think the stocks will then rally from December through May of 2016. Four are rated Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Marathon Petroleum

This top refiner rolled over some after earnings and may be offering an outstanding entry point. Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) has a diversified business that operates through Refining & Marketing, Speedway and Pipeline Transportation segments. It owns and operates seven refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States that refine crude oil and other feedstocks. It distributes refined products through barges, terminals and trucks, as well as purchases ethanol and refined products for resale.

While acknowledging that the company’s margins may have compressed some, many on Wall Street also expect strong revenue contribution from the assets acquired from Hess, and the company converted almost all the Hess stations to the company’s Speedway brand. The company is also consolidating its own master limited partnership and the newly acquired MarkWest Energy Partners.

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In the most recent quarter, fully diluted earnings per share came in at $1.76. While this was an impressive gain, it actually failed to meet consensus analyst expectations. The company did realize a $0.17 per share write-down from the cancellation of its Residual Oil Upgrader Expansion project at one of its refineries.

Marathon shareholders are paid a 2.42% dividend. The Credit Suisse price target for the stock is $70. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $65.87. Shares closed trading Monday at $52.92.

PBF Energy

This company is also down from highs printed in August but is bouncing back nicely. PBF Energy Inc. (NYSE: PBF) engages in the refining and supply of petroleum products. It provides gasoline, ultra-low-sulfur diesel, heating oil, jet fuel, lubricants, petrochemicals and asphalt, as well as unbranded transportation fuels, heating oil, petrochemical feedstocks and other petroleum products.

The stock surged earlier this year when the petroleum refiner and supplier announced plans to acquire the Chalmette Refinery outside of New Orleans, a joint venture between Exxon Mobil and Venezuela’s PDVSA, for $322 million. With the addition of Chalmette to its portfolio, PBF will be able to boost its capacity by an additional 189,000 barrels per day from its current capacity of 725,000 barrels per day. This deal is expected to boost the company’s earnings by as much as 20%.

PBF investors receive an outstanding 3.5% dividend. The Credit Suisse price objective is raised from $39 to $42. The consensus target is $41.55. The stock closed Monday at $34.46.

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