This column was originally published on RealMoney on Aug. 21 at 10:17 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
Gas prices are high, oil companies are making incredible amounts of money, and consumers are suffering. However, not everyone suffers equally when the price of a barrel of oil or a BTU of natural gas goes sky-high. Investors in energy companies have more reasons to be happy than sad.
The prices of energy stocks have shot up along with the price of oil and gas, but that does not mean they've topped out and are on a downward slope. I was curious to see which energy companies have room to gush even higher, so I ran a screen and found a number that still get thumbs-up from the guru strategies I follow, even at today's lofty stock prices.
In this column, I'll briefly profile four North American energy companies that could make you smile even while you are pumping $3-plus gasoline. In my next column, I'll discuss four overseas stocks.
, the second-largest domestic oil company, is working hard to replace the oil it's pumping and has made bets as far afield as Kazakstan and West Africa. My investment strategies based on the work of Ken Fisher and James O'Shaughnessy give passing marks to Chevron.
, the No. 3 U.S. oil company, primarily produces from fields in North America and Europe, but it has also made a bet in Russia. It's also more oriented toward refining than some of its peers. The Fisher and O'Shaughnessy strategies also rate ConocoPhillips highly.
, the world's largest energy company, got a lot of press recently when its
profit topped $10 billion. This company is printing money faster than the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Exxon Mobil passes the screens of my Peter Lynch and O'Shaughnessy strategies.
extracts oil from sands in the Canadian province of Alberta. This is a different kind of bet from the other companies because the price of oil has to remain high for it to be profitable, because processing the oil sands is expensive. The Lynch strategy favors Suncor.
The Fisher strategy greenlights companies that have a low price-to-sales ratio (0.75 or less is great), a good EPS growth rate, positive free cash flow per share and a good profit margin. The O'Shaughnessy Cornerstone Value strategy wants stocks with large cash flow per share, a large number of shares outstanding, large sales and relatively high yield. The Lynch strategy screens by P/E/G (1.0 or less is acceptable; 0.5 or less is outstanding), EPS growth (which should be between 20% and 50%) and P/E (below 40).
At the time of publication, Reese was long Chevron and ExxonMobil, although holdings can change at any time.
John P. Reese is founder and CEO of Validea.com, an investment research firm, and Validea Capital Management, an asset management firm serving affluent investors and companies. He is also co-author of the best selling book,
The Market Gurus: Stock Investing Strategies You Can Use From Wall Street's Best
. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Reese appreciates your feedback.
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