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EOG Resources (
EOG) has been another high-flier in 2013. Shares of the oil and gas exploration and production firm have climbed more than 48% higher since the calendar flipped over to January. A lot of that performance has come more recently, thanks to overall strength in the energy sector, so with relative strength scoring well right now, it makes sense to take a closer look at EOG.
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The E&P business is attractive right now -- attractive enough, anyway, for a few high-profile integrated firms to start shedding their low-margin downstream assets in recent years. EOG doesn't have to do that, though. It's already a pure-play E&P. EOG owns proven reserves of 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent spread across North America, with a smaller presence in Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, Argentina and China. EOG is an expert in unconventional drilling situations, which means that the firm is able to unlock profits that would typically go to specialist oil field servicers -- or be left in the ground. As a result, the firm can buy up cheap projects that are no longer profitable for rivals, and wring cash out of them.
Because of EOG's size, it's able to let less-lucrative sites sit dormant until oil prices pick back up. That production flexibility means that the firm is able to consistently generate net profit margins in the double digits. We'll get our next glimpse at EOG's numbers on Nov. 7.