$17 billion integrated oil stock Hess (HES) may not get the attention of the supermajors, but that doesn't mean that you should eschew this energy firm.
Hess may be best known for more than 1,360 gas stations spread across the Eastern U.S., but the firm's bread and butter is oil production. Hess has a portfolio of oil and gas projects throughout North America, Australia, North Africa and the Middle East that flow through to Hess' refinery capacity of more than 280,000 barrels a day. The firm's total proven reserves currently stand at 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent.>>9 Oil Stocks With Hot Prospects Hess has been transitioning in a big way in the last few years. While the firm has seen substantial success in its exploration and production arm, its downstream assets have been less fruitful. The decision to close its refinery in the Virgin Islands (while keeping its terminal there) means that the closure of its New Jersey refinery seems likely. Refining simply lacks the margins that Hess can earn in the E&P business, and management's acknowledgement of that fact is a good sign. While the firm's balance sheet is leveraged with around $7.8 billion in debt, the oil business is capital intense and Hess' financials don't look out of sort from its peers. With more than $800 million in cash and investments and a $4 billion credit facility, Hess isn't likely to have any liquidity problems in 2012. Baupost group added the position to its perfolio last quarter, picking up 1 million shares for what's now a $50 million stake in the company. Hess is also one of David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital holdings.
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