NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With so many different investments options, investors often have a difficult time deciding which direction is the best one for them to take.
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Quite simply, the oil and gas industry is the largest by revenue in the world. The industry as a whole amassed nearly $1.25 trillion in revenue in 2012, according to Ernst & Young's 2013 "Global Oil and Gas Reserves Study." Oil and gas companies comprise seven of the top eight largest companies by revenue worldwide. In fact, ExxonMobil's total revenue of $482 billion is larger than the 2012 GDP of all but 25 countries.Not only is it the largest by revenue, but also it is one of the most profitable industries in the world. Oil and gas extraction have a net profit margin of 16.4%, according to Sageworks. It comes third only to accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services at 17.8%, and legal services at 19.8%. Despite its long-running success, the oil industry has proved to be extremely volatile. For example, in the past 10 years, the price of WTI Crude Oil has plummeted as low as $43/bbl and peaked as high as $140/bbl. Similarly, the price of natural gas has dropped as low as just above $2/MMBtu and has reached as high as nearly $14/MMBtu during that same ten year time period. The oil industry is massive; made up of many different segments such as integrated energy, contract drilling, services and equipment, and exploration and production. Because of its size, complexities and power, tackling the industry can be quite challenging for the average investor. What follows are 23 oil industry stocks, ranked by our own proprietary quantitative ranking system at TheStreetRatings.com, which are worth looking over. Note that these ratings can change at any time. If you would like access to real-time ratings of these stocks, you can subscribe to TheStreet Quant Ratings. 23. Hercules Offshore (HERO) Segment: Contract Drilling
Hercules Offshore, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides shallow-water drilling and marine services to the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry worldwide. The company operates through Domestic Offshore, International Offshore, and International Liftboats segments. Its services comprise oil and gas exploration and development drilling, well services, platform inspection, maintenance and decommissioning services in various shallow-water provinces. As of Feb. 19, the company owned a fleet of 38 jackup rigs; and 19 liftboat vessels, as well as operated 5 liftboat vessels owned by third party. It serves national oil and gas companies, integrated energy companies, and independent oil and natural gas operators. The company was formerly known as Hercules Offshore, LLC and changed its name to Hercules Offshore, Inc. in 2005. Hercules Offshore was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
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TheStreet Ratings team rates HERCULES OFFSHORE INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate HERCULES OFFSHORE INC (HERO) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: You can view the full analysis from the report here: HERO Ratings Report