RBC Says Buy Top Large Cap Energy Stocks the Rest of 2018

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The media noted recently that if Texas was a country, it now would be the third top oil-producing nation in the world, and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin regions are helping the top companies make this happen. With earnings for many of the biggest energy stocks hitting the tape this week, and energy once again looking like a solid bet for the rest of 2018 and beyond, many investors continue to add energy plays to their portfolios.

In a new research report, the energy team at RBC makes the case that many top energy companies learned their lessons well after the huge oil price downturn in 2014 and are maintaining capital discipline and focusing on shareholders returns.

Given that many investors feel the most comfortable with the liquid, large cap companies in the sector, we screened the RBC research universe for stocks rated Outperform, many of which are reporting earnings this week and next.

Anadarko Petroleum

This top company’s stock is still down a stunning 30% from highs printed in 2014, the last time oil traded at $70. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) operates through three segments. The Oil and Gas Exploration and Production segment explores for and produces natural gas, oil, condensate and natural gas liquids. The other segments are Midstream and Marketing.

With oil prices at current levels, many on Wall Street believe Anadarko can reload share buybacks after the current program concludes.

Shareholders receive a 1.36% dividend. RBC recently raised the price target to $88 from $79, while the Wall Street consensus target is $81.76. The shares closed Monday at $73.71.

Concho Resources

This company recently bought RSP Permian for $9.5 billion, and most on Wall Street like the deal. Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO) is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the acquisition, development and exploration of oil and natural gas properties.

It offers investors a unique combination of investment themes, including valuation, rate-of-change and resource expansion themes. The company is the largest acreage holder of the publicly traded Permian large-caps and provides investors peer-leading exposure to three of the most impactful catalysts across the Delaware Basin, including the Wolfcamp XY, Wolfcamp D and Bone Spring Shale.

The RBC price target is $200, and the consensus target is $182.26. Shares closed Monday at $149.15. Concho is scheduled to report on August 1.

ConocoPhillips

This one may offer investors solid upside potential and could start growing its dividends again. ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids worldwide.

Conoco’s portfolio includes resource-rich North American tight oil and oil sands assets; lower-risk legacy assets in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia; various international developments; and an inventory of conventional and unconventional exploration prospects. Many Wall Street analysts feel the company can accelerate growth from a reloaded portfolio depth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford, and with visibility on future growth from a sizable position in the Permian.

The company posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit last week thanks to rising crude prices, prompting executives to boost capital spending and production targets for the year. ConocoPhillips said the additional spending would be on well completions, work with production partners and inflation.

Investors receive a 1.6% dividend. RBC has an $85 price target, and the consensus target is $80.05. Shares closed on Monday at $72.27.