Featuring one of the market’s love-hate affairs, the relevant-though-controversial category of oil stocks to buy will likely become increasingly intriguing to investors. Facing what could be a brutal winter for much of the world, geopolitical tensions cynically facilitate upside catalysts for hydrocarbon-related companies.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said it succinctly in a CNN interview. “This winter, the European Union will cease, for the most part, buying Russian oil, and in addition, they will ban the provision of services that enable Russia to ship oil by tanker,” Yellen stated. “It is possible that could cause a spike in oil prices.” If so, you need to watch oil stocks to buy now.
Economically, oil prices feature a baseline of price inelasticity. True, prices do fluctuate based on underlying conditions like consumer sentiment. But base demand – the fuel needed to go to work for instance – remains largely inelastic.
Such an overriding reality may drive increased demand later for the below oil stocks to buy.
Like any high-profile industry, picking which oil stocks to buy can be a confusing affair. While not as numerous as cryptocurrencies, several publicly traded hydrocarbon players exist. For those that want the broadest canvas available, investors may want to consider Chevron (NYSE:CVX).
One of the big oil giants, Chevron features a vertically integrated structure. Put another way, the company owns business units that cover all areas of the oil and gas industry: upstream (exploration and production), midstream (storage and transportation) and downstream (refining and marketing).
With geopolitical tensions running hot and no end in sight to conflict-related sanctions and countervailing penalties, CVX offers cynical upside. On a year-to-date basis through the Sept. 20 session, Chevron shares gained 31%.
Financially, the company is absolutely killing it. In the second quarter of this year, Chevron generated $65.4 billion, up 81% from the year-ago period. Further, net income increased nearly four-fold to $11.6 billion. Fewer hydrocarbon outflows will likely push profitability higher, making CVX one of the oil stocks to buy.
A French multinational energy firm, TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE) may not get quite as much love as domestic oil stocks to buy. Nevertheless, if you’re serious about this sector, TotalEnergies presents a very attractive framework. Like Chevron above, TTE features an integrated business covering the entire energy ecosystem. This includes production and processing to distribution in various forms.
But what really makes TTE stand out among other giant oil stocks to buy is that the company also serves electric vehicles. According to its website, TotalEnergies’ “goal is to operate more than 150,000 EV charge points across the [European] continent by 2025, thereby making mobility more sustainable and more widely accessible.”
Therefore, whichever way the mobility industry goes – combustion or electric – TotalEnergies stands ready.
Still, not many folks appreciate the potential upside opportunity in TTE. Shares are down nearly 3% YTD. This downtrodden performance seems to overlook the company’s Q2 2022 results, where it increased revenue by 69% and net income by 158%, both on a year-over-year basis.
Baker Hughes (BKR)
An industrial service company, Baker Hughes (NASDAQ:BKR) owns the distinction of running one of the world’s largest oilfield services firms. Baker Hughes provides the hydrocarbon industry with products and services for oil drilling, formation evaluation, completion, production and reservoir consulting.
What investors of oil stocks to buy will likely gravitate to is the broad canvas. Rather than picking out an individual energy exploration and development firm – which carries higher failure risks – Baker Hughes represents an infrastructural play. Essentially, the company aligns with the Levi Strauss historical business model. Rather than mining for gold, Strauss sold jeans to miners, becoming incredibly successful in the process. It’s the same idea with Baker Hughes.
To be fair, Gurufocus.com labels BKR as significantly overvalued. Against the oil and gas industry, Baker Hughes’ valuation metrics run rich. However, according to TipRanks, Baker Hughes enjoys significant bullish support from covering analysts. Among 14 experts, all but one rate it a buy.
Williams Companies (WMB)
When it comes to the topic of energy stocks to buy, Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB) presents somewhat of a cheating answer. Primarily, Williams specializes in the midstream component of the natural gas industry. According to its website, the company commands significant gas pipelines throughout the U.S. Given that our country could suffer from a brutally cold winter season as well, WMB certainly offers a relevant profile.
However, WMB technically classifies as one of the oil stocks to buy because of its deepwater crude oil pipelines. As well, Williams owns production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Should energy prices rise higher (either due to geopolitical dynamics or weather-related phenomena), WMB stock should become a healthy beneficiary.
According to Gurufocus.com, WMB represents a fairly valued investment. Generally, its price-per-profitability metrics ranks around the middle of the road compared to the target industry. However, TipRanks notes that Williams features very strong analyst support.
Occidental Petroleum (OXY)
If you believe in the market wisdom of Warren Buffett, you may want to consider adding Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) to your list of oil stocks to buy. In August, CNBC noted that the Oracle of Omaha – via conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, BRK-B) – received regulatory approval to purchase up to 50% of the oil firm.
Frankly, people shouldn’t acquire OXY or any investment opportunity based on one person’s opinion. Yes, we’re talking about the Oracle, but even he is human. Still, Occidental presents an intriguing case from a financial perspective. In Q2 2022, the company generated revenue of $10.7 billion, up over 79% on a YOY basis. Further, Occidental posted net income of $3.75 billion in the most recently reported quarter, up more than 36-fold from Q2 2021’s result.
Currently, Gurufocus.com rates OXY as modestly overvalued, presenting some risks for following Buffett in this investment. As well, analysts give OXY a moderate buy consensus rating, which is somewhat lukewarm. Still, the consensus target for OXY is $77.50, representing double-digit growth from here.
Cenovus Energy (CVE)
One of the more compelling names among oil stocks to buy, Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) deserves serious consideration. With operations that cover the “full value chain to develop, transport, produce and market crude oil and natural gas in Canada and internationally,” Cenovus is the integrated energy giant you might not be so familiar with.
Along with the advantages of a vertically integrated structure, CVE fundamentally benefits from geopolitical rumblings. With Russia flexing its muscle against the West and refusing to back down from its belligerence, a critical energy source is essentially offline indefinitely. However, this circumstance should help the U.S. and Canada become much more closely intertwined.
Financially, Cenovus brings plenty to the table, generating revenue of $19.2 billion in Q2 2022. For net income, it posted $1.9 billion in the most recent quarter, up more than 10-fold against the year-ago level.
Finally, those interested in oil stocks to buy tethered to the downstream component of the hydrocarbon industry should consider Sunoco (NYSE:SUN). Riskier than the other ideas mentioned on this list, SUN stock slipped 4% YTD. At the same time, Gurufocus.com labels Sunoco as significantly overvalued based on its proprietary valuation formula.
Against traditional metrics, though, SUN isn’t that bad at all. For instance, the company’s price/earnings-to-growth ratio stands at 0.28 times, below the industry median of 1.03. Moreover, according to TipRanks, Sunoco enjoys a strong buy consensus rating among covering analysts. Among five Wall Street experts, every one of them pegs SUN as a buy. Notably, SUN features an average price target of $47, which represents a double-digit gain from the current price.
Fundamentally, downstream businesses offer an attractive profile for investors. As mentioned near the top, the baseline demand for transportation-related fuel is inelastic. Should society continue to normalize from Covid-19 – such as a full return to the office – SUN can get very interesting.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.