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10 Energy Stocks With Top Buy Ratings

7. Apache Corporation (APA - Get Report) is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and crude oil.

Higher oil prices and production from new wells pushed revenue to $3.9 billion in the first quarter of 2011, up from $2.7 billion last year. Apache reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.1 billion, compared to $712 million in the year-earlier period. Production for the quarter stood at 732,000 boe per day and about 60% of the company's oil production came from operations outside North America.

During March 2011, Apache Deepwater, a subsidiary, agreed to join Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), a partnership company committed to handle deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Other MWCC members are ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (XOM), ConocoPhillips (XOM), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and BP (BP).

Apache's strong book and cash flows improve the stock's growth prospects. Of the 29 analysts covering the stock, 24 recommend a buy. The stock is estimated to gain around 12% in the next one year and is trading at 11.2 times its estimated 2011 earnings.

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