Crude oil futures recently hit an 11-month low, with this commodity suffering a peak-to-trough decline of 15.9% in the last eight trading sessions alone. Over that stretch, oil declined in seven sessions. Despite that, I think investors should still be looking for some must-own energy stocks.
Why? Because energy remains the best-performing sector year-to-date, and over the last 12 months. In fact, it’s not even close.
Despite poor performance commodity price performance, energy stocks continue to display relative strength. The stocks of oil-related companies are not correlated with the underlying price of oil on a one-to-one basis. Indeed, even though the broader stock market has been rebounding, it’s still stuck in bear market territory. Energy stocks continue to outperform because they continue to generate monstrous profits, with many firms generating record results.
With business booming and the charts intact, let’s look at a few must-own energy stocks.
Cheniere Energy (LNG)
Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG) is absolutely a name investors must keep on their radar. It’s the leading shipper of liquified natural gas (hence its ticker “LNG”), and is set to play a big role in dispersing energy around the world.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is wreaking havoc in Europe. Without Russian energy, Europe faces a crisis when it comes time for what’s expected to be a rather cold winter. This fact alone should keep liquefied natural gas rolling through the ports. If that’s the case, Cheniere Energy is likely to be a big winner. Furthermore, with Russia’s invasion, European countries are likely going to look for long-term, non-Russian solutions for its energy needs.
Consensus estimates call for Cheniere’s revenue to roughly double this year from $15.86 billion to $31.4 billion. However, estimates for 2023 call for a dip of just 12%, down to $27.40 billion. That’s still a 72% increase over 2020’s revenue figures.
On the earnings front, analysts expect Cheniere to earn more than $20 a share next year. That leaves the company valued at just 8.5-times 2023 earnings estimates. Personally, I think this valuation is too attractive to ignore right now.
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
Weighing in with a market capitalization of $454 billion, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is the biggest energy company in the US.
In fact, it makes up 22.9% of the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLE), while Chevron (NYSE:CVX) makes up 19.5%. Together, these two companies make up more than 40% of the XLE fund, and for good reason.
When Exxon reported earnings on Oct. 28, the company blew away expectations. The company’s earnings of $4.45 a share beat analysts’ expectations by 65 cents a share. Additionally, Exxon’s revenue of $112 billion grew more than 50% year-over-year and beat estimates by more than $9.1 billion.
Put simply, this company is steam-rolling right now, generating record profits last quarter. In fact, the company generated almost $20 billion in profit — for the quarter!
Despite all this, the stock still pays a 3.3% dividend yield and trades at about 8-times this year’s earnings.
Last, but certainly not least, we have ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP). This is another company that recently reported blow-out earnings results.
The company reported a top- and bottom-line beat, while growing revenue at a 86% clip. Sales of $21.6 billion blew past expectations by more than $3.6 billion, and yet, that wasn’t even the best part.
ConocoPhillips raised its dividend distribution by 11% (now yielding 4.2%) while initiating a $20 billion buyback plan. For a $150 billion company, that’s a significant repurchase plan. Production was up, while management raised its full-year guidance.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, one might expect a juicy premium over its two aforementioned peers. However, this company’s stock trades in a similar range, at just 8.5-times this year’s earnings.
While analysts expect revenue and earnings to dip 11.5% and 7.7% next year, respectively, that’s nothing in comparison to the respective 63.3% and 144% boom it’s enjoying this year. At this valuation, ConocoPhillips remains hard to ignore.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell 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.