Petroleo Brasileiro, better known as Petrobras, is the largest integrated oil and gas company in Brazil. The state-run entity is engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, and operates the country's existing oil refining capacity.
The company will benefit from Brazil's growing demand for refined products. A state-owned enterprise, Petrobras is less vulnerable to price volatility, something that impacts U.S. refiner's profit margins. However, the company is subject to political interference.
Petrobras has a competitive advantage in deep-water drilling. The company has gained traction in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore near West Africa. Petrobras has fixed capital expenditure plans until 2014, ensuring faster growth. The company is likely to benefit from investments in Espirito Santo, Campos, and Santos pre-salt oil reserve basins.During the past 12 months, the company's return on equity has been 19.2%, higher than many competitors.