China Petroleum & Chemical, also known as Sinopec, is an integrated energy and chemical company with upstream, midstream, and downstream operations. Sinopec trades on the Hong Kong, New York, London and Shanghai stock exchanges.
For the first three quarters, the company's turnover and net profit surged 59.8% and 11.5%, respectively, on domestic demand for oil and chemical products. Beijing's fuel price hikes have improved Sinopec's overall revenues. However, this increase has been lower than the price increase for crude imports, thereby reducing net profit in comparison with the surge in sales.
Going forward, Sinopec is set to benefit from China's surging oil demand. The country has surpassed the U.S. as the largest oil consumer this year, according to an International Energy Agency report. A decade earlier, China accounted for only about half of the U.S.'s energy consumption.The stock is trading at an attractive forward P/E of 8.2, in comparison with Petro China's (PTR) 11.7 and CNOOC's (CEO) 12.4. Of the 30 analysts covering the stock, 22 have buy recommendations, and eight have hold recommendations.