Two things have become apparent regarding oil stocks. First, they have become incredibly cheap this year as share prices have retreated and given up much of the gains recorded in 2022. And second, they offer strong dividend payments to shareholders, with many offering yields that are more than double the 1.62% average among companies listed on the S&P 500 index.
While crude oil prices continue to fluctuate, they are currently trading above $80 per barrel, having risen from less than $70 at the start of the summer. Many analysts forecast that oil prices will rise further in coming months, especially if the war in the Middle East escalates. This presents an attractive opportunity for investors who can buy oil stocks on the cheap now, then take advantage of the robust dividend yields while they wait for share prices and crude prices to rise. Here are the three best oil stocks for income investors to buy now.
Chevron Corp (CVX)
Barron’s recommends investors buy shares of oil major Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) given the recent price reduction. The publication also notes that Chevron’s total yield, including dividends and stock buybacks, should exceed 10% in the next year. This is based on the company’s plan to repurchase $20 billion of its own stock and raise its quarterly dividend by 8% in early 2024. Currently, Chevron pays a dividend of $1.51 per share each quarter, giving it a yield of 4.11%.
In addition to the dividends, CVX stock also looks like a good buy right now having just touched a fresh 52-week low and trading at 10 times projected future earnings. The share price has been knocked lower by plans for Chevron to buy rival Hess Corp (NYSE:HES) for $53 billion in an all-stock deal, and by lackluster third-quarter financial results that missed Wall Street forecasts. CVX stock is down 17% this year. However, at its current valuation and with its return to shareholders factored in, Chevron stock looks attractive currently.
For another top oil producer with a low valuation and an enticing dividend payment, check out Shell (NYSE:SHEL). The British oil producer currently pays a quarterly dividend of 70 cents per share, giving it a yield of 4.25%. SHEL stock is also trading at just 7 times future earnings, giving it an appealing valuation. Additionally, Shell’s share price has been marching higher on the back of strong earnings, having gained 15% year-to-date.
Shell reported a Q3 profit of $6.2 billion, which was in line with Wall Street forecasts and higher than the $5.1 billion it reported in Q2. Company executives said that the profit got a boost in this year’s third quarter from higher oil prices and improved refining margins. Along with the earnings, Shell announced a new $3.5 billion stock buyback program it will carry out over the next three months. The new buyback program is possible thanks to a free cash flow of $7.5 billion. For investors looking to oil stocks for income, SHEL stock looks like a buy.
BP (NYSE:BP), also known as British Petroleum, is another oil stock available at a fire sale valuation and offering a strong return for stockholders. In fact, BP’s current dividend yield of 4.6% is higher than its price-to-earnings ratio, which sits at 4.21%. Investors who take a stake in BP stock will benefit from a quarterly dividend payment of 43 cents per share. The share price is also near its 52-week low, and the company is focusing on stock buybacks, announcing a new $1.5 billion repurchase along with Q3 results.
BP stock slid lower after the company reported that its Q3 profit declined 60% from a year earlier, missing analyst forecasts. The energy giant announced a Q3 net profit of $3.29 billion, which was less than half the $8.15 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2022. Weak gas marketing and poor trading results from July through September are to blame for the profit plunge. It also comes shortly after CEO Bernard Looney resigned from the company due to inappropriate relationships with colleagues. Overall, a rock bottom valuation and high dividend yield make BP stock one of the best oil stocks for income investors.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole 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.