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2. Devon (DVN)

In the mid-cap space, the international interest in Devon speaks to its appeal as an individual investment opportunity. Along with Exxon, Devon realized the potential of onshore U.S. drilling and production activity and sought to sell off business not directly exposed to North America.

The company is also ambitiously building out exposure to liquid natural gas. Analysts project nearly 9% sales growth this year to almost $11 billion, and earnings of more than $6 per share. This would represent annual earnings growth of 6%, but a revamped firm focused on North American natural gas going forward means the potential exists for double-digit annual profit growth going forward.

Rival firm Chesapeake has a similar profile to Devon and has its fortunes firmly tied to natural gas, which comprises 99% of its total production. It is also looking to sell off assets to free up capital for domestic production expansion, such as in liquid natural gas. The only downside for Chesapeake is its higher debt load, and it isn't growing as fast as Devon.

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