This column was originally published on RealMoney on April 19 at 11:45 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
With oil breaking out over $70 a barrel this week, big oil companies with buy ratings from ValuEngine remain solid investments.
Buy-rated energy stocks with market caps above $90 billion are
With the exception of Chevron, all have traded higher since I last wrote about them on Jan. 27.
I favor Chevron and Exxon Mobil, as these are the least overvalued according to my model, and both tested their value levels at their March lows.
The energy sector is currently 22.6% overvalued, up from 16.7% at the end of January.
Wall Street economists and strategists now assume that the
Federal Open Market Committee
will hike the funds rate to 5% when it meets on May 10 and declare victory in the war against inflation, mission accomplished.
While the FOMC may pause at 5% in May, I believe it will remain on guard.
It will be concerned about the potential for an inflation insurgency from higher energy prices.
The weekly chart of Nymex crude oil shows rising momentum, with the five-week modified moving average at $65.80.
I have been in the camp predicting that crude oil would reach $70 before $50; now that oil is above $70, my sights are set on a rise to my quarterly resistance level of $75.94.
My quarterly and monthly pivots of $72.34 and $71.44 should provide near-term support.
BP, which is expected to report EPS of $1.51 on April 25, traded to a new 52-week high Tuesday of $75.08. Investors should add to positions on weakness to my quarterly value level of $72.76. Note that its fair value has fallen to $66.80 from $69.99 on Jan. 27.
ConocoPhillips, which is trading near its 2005 high of $71.48, is expected to report EPS of $2.32 on April 26. Add to positions if it drops to my monthly value level of $69.47, and reduce holdings if it rises to my quarterly risky level of $74.62. Its fair value has fallen to $66.21 from $68.07 on Jan. 27.
Chevron is the cheapest of the five oil biggies, and its fair value is within pennies of where it was on Jan. 27. I expect it to trade up toward its 2005 high of $65.98. Investors should add to positions on weakness to my annual value levels of $57.36 and $55.13, and reduce holdings on strength to my quarterly risky level of $67.52. Investors had the opportunity to add to positions at my annual pivot at $55.13 between March 8 and March 13. It's expected to report EPS of $1.80 on April 28.
Total is closing in on its Jan. 31 high of $139.52, but ValuEngine has downgraded it to buy from a strong buy. Add to positions if it falls to my annual value level at $119.29 and reduce holdings on strength to my quarterly risky level at $145.30. Its fair value is at $128.62, down from $133.23. Total is expected to report EPS of $3.38 on May 4.
Exxon Mobil is trading near its 2005 high of $65.96. Investors should add to positions on weakness to my annual value level of $58.51 and reduce holdings on strength to my quarterly risky level of $66.38. Its fair value has risen to $62.60 from $61.47. My annual value level of $58.51 was last tested on March 10.
A risky level is a price at which investors are likely to reduce holdings, according to my models
A value level is a price at which my models project that buyers will emerge
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Richard Suttmeier is president of Global Market Consultants, Ltd., and chief market strategist for Joseph Stevens & co., a full service brokerage firm located in lower Manhattan. Early in his career, Suttmeier became the first U.S. Treasury Bond Trader at Bache. He later began the government bond division at L. F. Rothschild. Suttmeier went on to form Global Market Consultants as an independent third-party research provider, producing reports covering the technicals of the U.S. capital markets. He also has been U.S. Treasury Strategist for Smith Barney and chief financial strategist for William R. Hough. Suttmeier holds a bachelor's degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master's degree from Polytechnic University.