Oct 13, 2015

Top 10: Energy stocks to buy today

7 min
It is no secret that oil prices are having a major affect on the global economy. The commodity that once commanded $110 per barrel...

It is no secret that oil prices are having a major affect on the global economy.

The commodity that once commanded $110 per barrel in 2014 just settled for October 2015 delivery at $38.85 per barrel, which is 71 cents lower than the month before – and significantly lower than the previous year.

The decline in oil prices has caused somewhat of a panic across the market however according to some, things may not be as bad as they seem.

“This is precisely what we might have hoped for, as this market collapse does present an enormous opportunity to buy some great oil stocks at bargain prices,” explained Daniel Dicker for TheStreet.com.

“Stocks are beginning to reach the equivalent value of their commodity counterparts. That means that opportunities are beginning to emerge in stocks that rely upon their underlying commodity prices.”

With that in mind, here are 10 stocks that we recommend looking into during this time of “panic”: Each has seen a high percentage return over the past few months, and each has at least one industry-impacting project either in the works on or the horizon—not to mention what may be the lowest open price the market will likely see for quite some time.

10. Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC
Open price: $46

Although Marathon Petroleum Corporation has one of the lower percentage returns on this list (11 percent since May 2015), the 127-year-old company is also one of the most stable.

As one of the largest independent petroleum product refining, marketing, retail and transportation businesses in the United States, the company owns and operates seven refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions and maintains in-house means of product distribution, reducing costs and further ensuring quality control.


9. Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD
Open price: $108


Although the open price is one of the highest on this list, Pioneer Natural Resources is a Fortune 500 company that shows a lot of promise for current and future investors. The Texas-based oil and gas exploration and production company has seen a 29 percent return over the past three months and is heavily involved in the continued development of oil-rich shale plays throughout the state.


Specifically, Pioneer is the one of the largest producers in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp in the Permian Basin and a top operator at the Eagle Ford Shale. These projects alone give investors a reason to keep Pioneer at the top of the list.

8. Southwestern Energy Company (SWN)
Open price: $15

With a low open price and a high amount of potential, Southwestern Energy Company is another stock to consider adding to the portfolio. The company has been in business for more than 80 years and is the fourth largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. today.


Primarily focused on natural gas and crude oil exploration, development and production, the majority of the company’s resources are spent on the development of natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. In addition, investors have seen a 44 percent return over the past three months.


7. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK
Open price: $6.33


Recently listed as No. 17 on Fortune’s list of fastest growing companies by revenue over the past 10 years, Chesapeake Energy is the second-largest producer of natural gas, and the 11th largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids in the United States.


In a recent press release, CEO Doug Lawler commented, “Despite the [recent downturn in commodity prices], we remain focused on lowering costs and improving operational efficiencies in our portfolio of high-quality assets.”


And it seems to be working: Chesapeake’s stock delivered a 57 percent return over the last three months.


6. ONEOK, Inc. (OKE
Open price: $33


ONEOK, Inc. is the sole general partner and 37.8 percent owner of ONEOK Partners (NYSE: OKS), which owns a premier natural gas liquids system that allows the connection of NGL supply in the Mid-Continent, Permian and Rocky Mountain regions with key markets throughout the country.


According to the company’s 2015 SEC file, this partnership allows ONEOK Partners to focus on applying its “core capabilities of gathering, processing, fractionating, transporting, storing and marketing natural gas and NGLs through the rebundling of services across the energy value chains, primarily through vertical integration, to provide its customers with premium services at lower costs.”


ONEOK stocks had a 28 percent return since May 2015.


5. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG
Open price: $22


Also based out of Texas, United States, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation focuses on the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Experiencing 37 percent return since May 2014, the company’s proactive planning as to how it would navigate industry ups and downs is proving to be successful.


Notably, the following the points were made outlined by the corporation in its 2015 SEC filing:

1. Disciplined Capital Spending Focused on Organic Projects
2. Low Cost Structure
3. Conservative Financial Position and Financial Flexibility


With focus like this – and numbers that don’t lie – Cabot Oil & Gas is another stock to look into.


4. Helmerich & Payne (HP)
Open price: $68


As the largest land driller in the U.S., Helmerich & Payne provides rigs to producers within the oil and gas sector. And although the company’s stocks have witnessed a 30 percent decline over the past six months, CEO John Lindsay was quick to point out the obvious: a “rapidly deteriorating energy market.”


While this is certainly no secret—Helmerich & Payne even expects drilling activity and rates for its rigs to continue to decline—as anyone who has been monitoring the market can attest, Helmerich & Payne know how to navigate the turmoil: The firm used the last downturn in oil prices to bolster market share from 9 percent in October 2008 to 16 percent by the end of 2014.


3. First Solar, Inc. (FSLR
Open price: $46


A globally-recognized leader in PV solar systems, First Solar’s main focus is to provide financially-beneficial and environmentally-sound alternative solutions to electricity generation. The company’s integrated power plants utilize advanced technology to maintain at the forefront of the industry. Total return since May 2015 has been 22 percent and the stock’s growth doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.


In the company’s second quarter financial results, CEO Jim Hughes said: "We achieved significant financial and technological milestones this past quarter with the IPO of 8point3 Energy Partners and a new record module conversion efficiency of 18.6 percent.


“In combination with year-to-date bookings of 1.4GW and full year earnings guidance of over three dollars per share, we continue to execute across all elements of our business."


2. Range Resources Corporation (RRC
Open price: $35


An independent oil and gas exploration company based out of Texas, United States, Range Resources Corporation recently released its second quarter financial report, indicating that while total spend for the company was approximately $700 million less than 2014, annual production growth increased 20 percent.


Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Ventura commented on the company’s performance: "Operational results in the second quarter continued to be excellent, as we lowered costs, improved capital efficiencies, exceeded production guidance and achieved great drilling results, especially in the dry gas area.”


Additionally, the company’s stock yielded a 43 percent return in the last three months, and Range is expanding its portfolio within the ethane market, further hinting that the time to buy may be now.


1. Chevron (CVX)
Open price: $73


Although the global oil giant’s earnings dropped a hefty 30 percent in the fourth quarter 2014, its refining operation were profitable, thus carrying the weight of losses felt in other parts of the business—and this is a good sign for investors.


While focused on the gamut of power and energy services, Chevron is currently spending billions of dollars each year to replace depleted wells across the globe. According to company reps, the aggressive goal of boosting oil and gas production by 21 percent is right on-track for completion by 2017, as initially predicted. If this is indeed true, the supply-and-demand issue being experienced sector-wide – particularly with oil supply – may no longer exist—and investors will more than likely reap the benefits.


And even though it is reported that Chevron recently reduced its capital budget and suspended share buybacks, the company has maintained protection of its $1.07-per-share quarterly dividend and has made no indication of changing that fixed rate.

Note: All stock prices as of 9/1/2015

Energy Digital and WDM Group have no affiliation with any of the companies listed in this article and the information given in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. 

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Mar 20, 2020

Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19

Georgia Wilson
3 min
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s To...

Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management. 

As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient. 

In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared. 

“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner. 

Establish a preparedness framework

Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.

Monitor the situation

It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.

Revise finance

Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out. 

Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.

Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols

It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.

Review HR 

Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.

In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences. 


Establish a communication programme

People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.

Review the impact on the operation

Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.

Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?

Review IT 

IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.

In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications. 

Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response

Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.

Review after-action

Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.

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