Jefferies Analyst Likes 3 Edgy Beta Oil Stocks Now

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One way or another, this week will help to either add volatility in a big way or shut it off for a while. With the long-awaited Brexit vote finally about to happen, we will are closer to a decision. While last week the polls showed that a majority favor leaving, typically voters tend to opt for the status quo, and the polls and betting parlors reversed course over the weekend. One thing is for sure, oil, which many thought would retrace some of the recent gains, will continue to be volatile.

In a new Jefferies research note, the superb energy team led by Tom Marchetti notes that while many stocks have jumped ahead of current fundamentals, long-term investors should consider what they literally term as “edgy beta” stocks. Of equal importance, they say to avoid the temptation to buy the refiners, which were big winners over the past 18 months. Three stocks make the edgy beta grade at Jefferies.

Encana

This top stock has been absolutely mauled, down a gigantic 84% since the summer of 2014. Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) engages in the development, exploration, production and marketing of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in Canada and the United States. It owns interests in plays such as the Montney in northern British Columbia and northwest Alberta, Duvernay in west central Alberta, Clearwater in central and southern Alberta, Deep Panuke in offshore Nova Scotia, Cadomin/Doig in northeast British Columbia, Horn River in northeast British Columbia and Granite Wash/Doig in northwest Alberta.

The Jefferies analysts are bullish on the company, and earlier this year elevated the stock to the Franchise Picks portfolio, which represents the highest conviction stocks at the firm. The company reported weaker first-quarter numbers year over year, but the Jefferies analysts feel that the big reduction and debt and the potential for the company to sell assets remain a positive.

The Jefferies price target was raised to a whopping $12, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target price is much lower at $9.06. The stock closed Friday at $8.18 per share.

Marathon Oil

This company is a leading integrated oil and gas firm with extensive upstream operations. Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) operates through three segments. The North America Exploration and Production segment develops, explores for, produces and markets crude oil and condensate, NGLs and natural gas in North America.