Wall Street Analysts Bullish on Energy as Oil Surges to 3-Year Highs

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Parsley Energy

This is smaller capitalization stock for aggressive investors to consider. Parsley Energy Inc. (NYSE: PE) is an oil and gas producer with 227,000 net acres in the Permian Basin. The majority of acreage sits on the Midland side of the basin, but the company also holds a small acreage position in the Delaware Basin.

The company had 222 million barrels of oil equivalent of proved reserves at the end of 2016, of which 61% was oil. Through strategic acquisitions and acreage swaps, it has grown its acreage position since its initial public offering and has over 7,900 horizontal locations across multiple prospective zones.

The company is catalyst rich and a Permian Basin pure play. Parsley Energy has some of the strongest wells in the basin, generating returns that are among the best in the industry. It is also rapidly de-risking its drilling inventory and is well-positioned to continue to beat its strong growth projections.

The RBC price target is $36, versus the consensus price target of $30.39. The stock closed trading on Friday at $30.13.

Patterson-UTI Energy

This one remains a top oil services pick across Wall Street. Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: PTEN) is the second-largest land driller in North America and a large pressure pumping provider. Its operations are particularly focused in the Marcellus and in Texas.

Patterson-UTI and its subsidiaries operate land-based drilling rigs in oil and natural gas producing regions of the continental United States and western Canada. Universal Pressure Pumping and Universal Well Services provide pressure pumping services primarily in Texas and the Appalachian region. For the three months ended September 30, 2017, the company had an average of 161 drilling rigs operating.

The company remains the fifth largest Pressure Pumper with a 1.5 million HHP frac fleet (currently 83% utilized) with exposure to ancillary rental equipment business through Great Plains Oilfield Rental. The recent acquisition of MS Energy (directional drilling) complements its contract drilling business and provides attractive growth opportunities for investors.

Investors are paid a small 0.4% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target of $27 a share compares with a consensus price objective of $24.85 and the most recent closing price of $19.99.

Royal Dutch Shell

This company has survived the seesaw in oil pricing as good as or better than any other major integrated stock. Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide through its Upstream and Downstream segments. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas and NGLs.

Royal Dutch Shell also converts natural gas to liquids to provide fuels and other products; markets and trades crude oil and natural gas; transports oil; liquefies and transports gas; extracts bitumen from mined oil sands and converts it to synthetic crude oil; and generates electricity from wind energy.

In addition, the company engages in the conversion of crude oil into a range of refined products, including gasoline, diesel, heating oil, aviation fuel, marine fuel, liquefied natural gas for transport, lubricants, bitumen and sulphur; production and sale of petrochemicals for industrial customers; refining; trading and supply; pipelines and marketing; and alternative energy businesses.

Investors are paid a huge 5.51% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price objective is $74. The consensus figure is $77.64, and the stock closed Friday at $70.65 a share.

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These 10 top companies, covered by some of the best firms on Wall Street, are all offering investors great entry points and the potential for solid upside. Plus, they run the risk gamut, and more conservative accounts can always go with the big dividend integrateds while aggressive growth investors can go with the hot exploration and production plays from the Permian Basin.