15 Major Oil, Gas & Energy Stocks With Multiple Analyst Upgrades and Price Hikes for Big Gains in 2018

Print Email

Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) may have had non-U.S. production targets that missed expectations, but U.S. production was at the high end of its range. Raymond James raised its Apache price target to $51 from $50 on January 11. A week earlier, Merrill Lynch raised its target price to $45 from $42. The traded at $47.16 on Friday’s close, up from $46.39 a week earlier and from $42.22 on the last day of 2017.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) traded at $60.05 on Friday, up from $56.88 a week earlier and from $54.89 at the end of 2017. Wells Fargo has an Outperform rating, and on January 11 the firm raised its target to $74 from $70.

Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR) was down marginally on the day at $57.66 on Friday. The king of the Bakken traded at $55.24 a week earlier and is up from $52.97 at the end of 2017. Continental Resources has seen multiple target hikes in the first days of 2018. Barclays raised its target to $58 from $53 on January 11, and Simmons raised its target to $57 from $45 on January 9. The larger call was by Merrill Lynch on January 4, when its price objective was raised to $65 from $53.

Noble Corp. PLC (NYSE: NE) already has risen sharply in 2018. Closing Friday at $5.77, it was at $5.06 a week earlier and $4.52 at the end of 2017. That’s a 27% gain in 2018 alone. Jefferies gave it a positive call on January 4 with a Buy rating and the target raised to $6 from $5. Does the firm already need to consider a higher target?

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) closed at $104.97 on Friday, up from $101.15 at the end of 2017. Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $110 from $105 on January 11, and on the same day Wells Fargo raised its target from $100 to $105 and Raymond James raised its target to $100 from $94.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) recently made a big $500 million acreage sale in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, and that compares with a $3 billion market cap. With it considered a Texas play now, multiple analysts chimed in. We covered it in more detail, but SM Energy’s ratings were raised and targets were hiked at Raymond James, Credit Suisse, Williams Capital, Merrill Lynch and RBC.

SM Energy shares were up marginally at $26.84 on Friday’s close, but that is up 10% from $24.15 a week earlier and a much sharper 20% from the $22.08 close-out price of 2017.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was given a big upgrade to Buy from Hold at Jefferies on January 4, and the firm raised its target to $13 from $11. Also seen in recent days, Cowen raised its price target to $11 from $8, while Simmons raised its target to $11 from almost $8. Transocean closed at $12.20 on Friday, up from $11.61 a week earlier and from $10.68 at the end of 2017.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) is far from being an oil and gas company, and it often gets classified as a technology company by many screeners. That being said, First Solar is the top U.S. solar energy panel maker, so we’ll just go ahead and say they drill for solar panels for a laugh.

Its shares were down 4% at $73.20 late on Friday after its stock hit a six-year high of $76.61 on Thursday. This was a $67.52 stock at the end of last year, and that means that its shares rallied 13% from the end of 2017 to the peak before profit taking. A firm called Vertical Research started First Solar with a Buy rating on January 11. The analyst came from a different research firm prior to this call, and he believes that First Solar’s shares are deeply undervalued, even considering its huge surge in the past year.