3 Oil Stocks Still on Sale as the Sector Rebounds

Global volatility didn’t spare oil stocks in 2023. Indeed, the sector grappled with unique systemic risks, even as interest rate hikes and economic contraction beat down most stock sectors.

With flat growth and declining trends in critical countries, OPEC member states responded to plummeting commodity pricing by introducing unexpected production cuts. However, despite OPEC+ announcing a substantial cut of more than one million daily barrels in May, crude oil ETFs like the United States Brent Oil Fund LP (NYSEARCA:BNO) showed no improvement. Most of these funds have lost around 5% since the cuts, at the time of writing.

The industry’s woes have compounded further. Generally, ongoing geopolitical concerns and supply constraints remain the key focus for investors. Thus, as the market grapples with the implications of Russian sanctions and reduced exports, OPEC’s political clashes could escalate this situation.

Despite Russia’s claim that its production-cutting measures are aimed at boosting prices to support military efforts, doubts persist over whether their actions match their words. Industry insiders believe Russia is focusing on the short-term, aiming to maximize production and sell at the highest price possible given sanctions.

This scenario casts the entire industry in a game of chicken as each player tries to anticipate the others’ moves to optimize their options and pump revenue higher.

Accordingly, many oil stocks have moved lower in recent weeks. Here are three that are still on sale, amid what appears to be a rebound brewing in this space.

XLE Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund $80.93
OXY Occidental Petroleum $58.77
DVN Devon Energy $50.39

Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE)

An effective exchange traded fund (ETF) is tough to top for investors bullish on an entire sector. Notably, ETFs open an avenue for investors to tap into the entire sector’s potential, while mitigating individual company hazards that come with creating a single-stock portfolio.

Thus, if the broad oil sector is on your radar, Energy Selector Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLE) should be at the top of your investing shortlist. Replicating the Energy Select Sector Index, it holds all industry-wide stocks in the S&P 500. Since most of those entries are oil and gas stocks, XLE is an ideal vehicle for industry-wide bets since it closely tracks benchmarks like the Brent crude index.

One deterrent to investing directly into benchmarks by choosing funds is the exorbitant fee structure associated with commodity ETFs built on a foundation of complex derivatives. For example, BNO’s fund expense ratio is a staggering 1%, dwarfing XLE’s 0.10%. Accordingly, the XLE ETF is a great way for investors to gain low-cost diversification within this sector.

Moreover, XLE’s portfolio of oil and gas stocks offers a unique upside. With a 4.3% trailing-twelve-month dividend yield, XLE’s holdings are a “who’s who” of industry stalwarts that reduces the risk of catastrophic capital loss by casting a wide net in the energy sector and offering exposure to all aspects of the oil and gas industry. Ultimately, this provides portfolio diversification and broader long-term upside potential for investors.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY)

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) is a perennial trader favorite, but is increasingly catching institutional investors’ eye. Heavy-hitter Warren Buffett has been steadily buying into the company throughout the year, now sitting on more than 200 million shares worth $13 billion as of May 31.

Occidental embodies Buffett’s value investing ethos and a proactive approach to climate concerns as it offers future-forward sustainable innovations alongside robust operations that remain resilient. A major player in America’s principal oil production regions, the company enjoys a significant and sticky market share due to its presence in these flowing fields.

Last quarter, Occidental surpassed production expectations by 2%, maintained spending levels under $6 billion, and hit an impressive 24.58% TTM profit margin. The company’s return on invested capital is 22.34%, blowing the 17.63% industry average away. As always, Warren Buffett stocks are solid picks, and OXY stock isn’t an exception.

Devon Energy (DVN)

Dividend investors may find Devon Energy Corp’s (NYSE:DVN) hefty 10.8% yield irresistible, and oil enthusiasts can likewise leverage sizable kickbacks to generate a regular cash flow or reinvest into a larger position.

Indeed, despite being a prevalent player in less productive fields, Devon has a firm foothold in these regions and anticipates its stellar operational performance will continue.

Devon’s downside is its limited growth prospects recently referenced by management. But the company’s consistent cash flow and enduring commitment to shareholder value (as evidenced by a $3 billion buyback program) position it as a solid opportunity for those seeking consistent income while awaiting a potential industry rebound.

Even though the company’s growth potential might seem capped due to limited expansion opportunities, Devon’s stable yield offers a solid option for a well-blended growth and income portfolio.

On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held a long position in OXY. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Jeremy Flint, an MBA graduate and skilled finance writer, excels in content strategy for wealth managers and investment funds. Passionate about simplifying complex market concepts, he focuses on fixed-income investing, alternative investments, economic analysis, and the oil, gas, and utilities sectors. Jeremy’s work can also be found at www.jeremyflint.work.

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