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Canadian energy company
Imperial Oil(IMO - Get Report) isn't some unfamiliar business in a faraway land -- it's a Calgary-based integrated oil firm that produces, refines and sells oil in our neighbor to the North.
Still, as oil prices slip lower, short-selling pressure is hammering this foreign stock, and that's setting shares up for a pop. A short interest ratio of 12.6 means that it would take close to three weeks of buying pressure at current volume levels for shorts to exit their bets against Imperial Oil.
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Imperial has significant resources in Canada's oil business. The firm's proven reserves currently stand at 3.78 billion barrels of oil equivalent, all most all of which is oil (rather than natural gas). That positioning makes IMO a slightly higher-beta play on the oil business, positioning that hasn't been great in the last couple of months, but is great when oil's looking stronger. It's an attractive enough mix that
Exxon Mobil(XOM) is a big fan of the firm -- Exxon owns 70% of outstanding shares.
Imperial runs a tight ship. The firm is focused on improving efficiency, and its double-digit net margins are evidence of that, particularly when the dilutive effects of the low-margin refining business are factored in. Second-quarter earnings on July 26 could be a big catalyst for shares.