Finding the best oil stocks to buy isn’t as easy as it was in the first half of the year. The price of crude oil ran up to a multiyear high of $120 a barrel in the spring, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. However, oil prices steadily fell over the summer months as concerns grew about the prospects of a global recession and waning energy demand. September proved to be the worst month of the year for oil stocks as crude prices dropped to around $80 a barrel.
Recently, though, oil prices have once again been marching higher after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies announced that they plan to cut oil output by as much as 2 million barrels a day starting in November. As of this writing, West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. standard, is trading right around $87 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, is hovering near $92 per barrel.
Oil stocks, which declined during the summer, are again starting to tick higher along with crude prices. This presents a potential opportunity for investors to step on the elevator and ride oil stocks higher as we head into the colder winter months when energy demand typically spikes.
Here are seven of the best oil stocks to buy now.
|CNQ||Canadian Natural Resources||$52.43|
Best Oil Stocks to Buy Now: ExxonMobil (XOM)
ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) is benefitting from elevated energy prices across the board this year. On Oct. 5, the integrated oil and natural gas company issued preliminary third-quarter results that had Wall Street sit up and take notice. The Irving, Texas-based company said it could earn $11 billion for the July-to-September period, which would be up 62% from the third quarter of 2021. Official Q3 earnings are expected to be issued on Oct. 28
XOM stock jumped as much as 8.5% in the days following the release of the preliminary Q3 results before giving back some gains in recent days. Shares are up 61% year to date but they sit about 7% below their 52-week high of $105.57. If the company manages to keep its quarterly profits flowing, the upward momentum in shares should continue.
Another great attribute of XOM stock is that it is a Dividend Aristocrat. ExxonMobil has increased its dividend payout to shareholders for 39 consecutive years. In the second quarter, the company shelled out $3.7 billion of dividend payments to shareholders. The company pays a quarterly dividend of 88 cents per share and the current yield stands at 3.6%.
Devon Energy (DVN)
Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) is a good pick right now because the company is not just a leading oil company, it is also a major producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids at a time when those energy products are in high demand, particularly in Europe.
The U.S. struck a deal with the European Union earlier this year aimed at reducing the continent’s reliance on natural gas from Russia. The U.S. has promised to provide Europe with at least 15 billion cubic meters more of liquified natural gas by year’s end. The goal is to wean European countries such as Germany and France off natural gas that comes from Russia. Previously, about 40% of Europe’s energy products came from Russia.
The new pact focused on natural gas is good news for Devon Energy. At the end of last year, natural gas liquids accounted for 27% of the company’s reserves, with natural gas accounting for another 29%. Natural gas prices have risen along with crude oil prices, up 73% so far this year, with analysts calling for a continued rise leading into the winter when demand is expected to peak.
DVN stock is up 58% year to date and sits 12% below its 52-week high of $79.40. Shares are likely to continue to climb along with rising energy prices.
There are a couple of reasons for investors to consider buying shares of San Ramon, California-based Chevron (NYSE:CVX) right now. First, while CVX stock is up 34% on the year, it has come down nearly 14% since peaking at a 52-week high of $182.40 in early June.
Additionally, the stock looks undervalued with a P/E ratio of only 10.5 and a market capitalization of more than $308 billion. Lastly, the company pays a quarterly dividend of $1.42 a share for an attractive 3.6% yield.
Chevron recently announced that its second-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago to $11.62 billion as its revenue soared more than 80% year over year to $65 billion. The blockbuster earnings led analysts across Wall Street to revise their forecasts and ratings on CVX stock. This included Credit Suisse, which maintained its “outperform” rating and upped its price target to $202, implying 28% upside from current levels. Chevron also boosted its share buybacks coming off its strong Q2 print, moving the upper end of the range to $15 billion.
Best Oil Stocks to Buy Now: BP (BP)
BP (NYSE:BP) is another oil producer whose stock is looking mighty attractive right now. Shares are up 12.5% on the year and about 17.7% off their 52-week high of $34.30. The stock has an ultra-low forward P/E ratio of 4.8. Finally, shares yield a very attractive 4.4%.
Based in London, BP is also one of the energy “supermajors” with trailing annual revenue of more than $200 billion, 60,000 employees, and a market capitalization approaching $100 billion.
BP recently hiked its quarterly dividend to 36 cents per share following blockbuster second-quarter earnings. The company announced that its Q2 net profit this year more than tripled from a year earlier to $8.5 billion. It was the company’s largest profit in 14 years. In addition to hiking its dividend, BP has been buying back stock, further rewarding shareholders.
Marathon Oil (MRO)
Another diversified energy company that deals in natural gas as well as oil products is Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO). A direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company, Houston-based Marathon Oil is one of America’s preeminent energy companies.
Shares have skyrocketed 67% this year as the price of crude oil has risen and global demand for natural gas has surged. Yet, they currently sit 17.5% below their 52-week high of $33.24, presenting a nice buy-the-dip opportunity for investors.
In addition to the share price appreciation, other reasons to like MRO stock include its 1.2% dividend yield, $3 billion stock buyback program, and low P/E ratio of 6.4. Plus, Wall Street analysts forecast the company’s earnings will more than triple this year, pushed higher by oil and natural gas prices that are expected to rise into the winter months.
Best Oil Stocks to Buy Now: Occidental Petroleum (OXY)
Houston-based Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) has gotten a lot of attention this year as the new favorite stock of famed value investor Warren Buffett. A relentless deal hunter, Buffett says he is always on the lookout for strong businesses and undervalued stocks, and, when he finds the right combination, he buys shares with a vengeance.
Well, Buffett seems to have found a deal in OXY stock. The Oracle of Omaha has been buying shares of the U.S. oil company hand over fist since the spring. In early August, his total investment stood at 188.4 million shares, or 20.2% of the company, worth $11.3 billion.
Buffett no doubt likes that OXY stock has more than doubled in 2022, up 125% year to date, making it one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 this year. He also certainly likes Occidental Petroleum’s low P/E ratio of 6.3.
While the quarterly dividend yields a skimpy 0.8%, Buffett probably likes that Occidental reinvests its profits in its business in the same way that his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B), does (Buffett’s company pays no dividend to shareholders). Also like Berkshire, Occidental Petroleum is using profits to buy back its own stock, announcing a $3 billion share repurchase program in the second quarter.
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ)
Looking north to Canada, we have Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ). The Calgary-headquartered company recently announced it was paying a special dividend to shareholders after posting strong second-quarter financial results. Specifically, the company paid a special dividend of $1.50 per share to shareholders on Aug. 31 after its cash flow doubled in the second quarter from a year earlier, rising to $5.9 billion.
Like most oil and natural gas producers, Canadian Natural Resources has seen its share price rise this year on the back of elevated energy prices. So far in 2022, CNQ stock has gained 27%. However, it too has a very low P/E ratio of 7.8.
The company also pays a quarterly dividend of 57 cents a share for a 4.2% yield. By way of comparison, the average dividend yield among companies listed on the S&P 500 index is 1.3%. And CNQ stock is currently 24% below its 52-week high of $69.15 a share, presenting a nice entry point.
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.