In a market environment that's been extremely cruel to investors, the energy sector -- and particularly the mega-cap integrated stocks -- have performed particularly badly.
I'm ready to draw the line right here -- it's not as if the world has become independent of fossil fuels just because an offshore BP well has sprung a leak -- and I've chosen four large integrated oil stocks to look at and to buy right now at prices that seem downright bargain basement.
The list of the four stocks I've chosen won't win any awards for being overly creative, but sometimes the obvious choices will just work the best. My "fab four" in integrated energy names are Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Total (TOT).In a market where there are as many obvious headwinds as we have these days, you must become a more conservative investor to stay ahead and sleep at night. And if conservative is the name of the game, there's no more consistent sector to conservatively invest than with the mega-cap energy names. These names have taken a brutal beating recently, mostly on the back of the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster that has flattened BP stock but also taken many of its sector siblings with it. Some of the stocks I will mention are at share prices not seen since the market lows of March 2009, when the Dow reached 6,550 and the S&P was trading at 667. Has everyone decided to trade in their large white GMC Denalis for new Chevy Volts? No? In that case, we'll still be relying on fossil fuels and the large integrated companies to deliver them for the foreseeable future. It may no longer be a case of trying to measure the possibility of BP's bankruptcy and total liability and deciding at what level to buy BP shares. We have a simpler plan: Buy other integrated oil companies with super solid balance sheets and terrific dividends that don't risk disappearing anytime soon. Let's look at my fab four a little more closer:
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