Sometimes when it’s the most obvious trade in the world, it’s the most difficult one to put on. Everybody senses that energy will turn around, but the question really isn’t if, but when. Plenty of people have been burned getting in too early, and the key is sticking with the top companies that can fight through the downturn and still be around when the sector moves higher.
In a new report from Cowen, Sam Margolin, the firm’s well-respected energy analyst, makes the case for the biggest and the best, and with good reason. With deep pockets and superb assets, these three companies make good sense for investors looking to play an energy rebound in 2016 and beyond.
This stock is very solid story for investors looking to stay long the energy sector. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is a U.S.-based integrated oil and gas company with worldwide operations in exploration and production, refining and marketing, transportation and petrochemicals. The company sports a sizable dividend and has a solid place in the sector when it comes to natural gas. Some Wall Street analysts estimate Chevron will have a compound annual growth rate of over 5% for the next five years, and the stock trades at a modest valuation discount to some of its mega-cap peers.
Chevron management is aggressively pursuing cost-saving initiatives and already has completed over 2,200 supplier engagements, with more in progress. Cost savings and improving investor sentiment may be a key for the mega-cap integrated as it has struggled mightily over the past year. While many on Wall Street concede that the oil market could be oversupplied for longer than most thought, massive overseas demand and production slowdowns should help pricing into 2016.
Cowen makes the case that the company’s Permian Basin assets are a goldmine and that the Australian LNG business will transition from a yearly $8 billion capital consumption drag to a $2 billion to $3 billion contributor. Combined with the much lower overall capital spending for the 2016 to 2018 period, Chevron is poised to not only hang around, but end the sector slump in a much better position.
Chevron investors receive a massive 4.61% dividend. The Cowen price target on the stock is boosted to $122 from $95. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $97.90 Shares closed on Tuesday at $92.76.