NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The big and unexpected news Monday was the CVREnergy (CVI) announcement that it will be spinning off its refinery business in an IPO. That should be a big positive for current shareholders.What's also interesting is that the commodity looks ready to break out. The price of West Texas Crude recently dipped below $90-a-barrel before a modest recovery. Now it's time to focus our aim on two energy companies with layers of value and a current "surprise." First take a look at a one-year chart of United States Oil ( USO), which seeks to reflect the performance, less expenses, of the spot price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude oil. USO data by YCharts
Looks like a chart of a commodity that wants to move higher especially in light of all the saber rattling between Iran and Israel. Is the supply of oil about to be temporarily restricted as the U.S. presidential election approaches? Even if WTI crude stays about the same, the price of gasoline at the pump is at or above $4-a-gallon and it appears there are some refinery issues causing gasoline to be in tight supply. Any way you slice this "crude" pie, it's a good time to be in the oil producing and refining business. That's why careful investors who don't want to overpay for growth-with-income are considering companies like Cenovus Energy ( CVE). Cenovus is an integrated oil company which, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, production and marketing of bitumen, crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids in Canada with refining operations in the U.S. The company's Oil Sands segment owns and operates bitumen producing assets at Foster Creek and Christina Lake, heavy oil assets at Pelican Lake, and some new resource plays such as Narrows Lake, Grand Rapids and Telephone Lake. Their natural gas assets in the Athabasca tar region are on tap for the creation of natural gas liquids. Cenovus' patented blow-down boiler technology enables them to reuse a greater percentage of the water they utilize to generate steam at their oil sands operations, which are profitable with oil prices at current levels. You can learn about their second-quarter earnings results, their innovative approaches to finding and refining energy, and you can enter their "Great Communities Contest" and try to win $5,000 for your favorite charity, all by going to their very interesting Web site.
CVE pays a dividend yield-to-price of 2.7% if you can wait to buy shares at $34 or below. Its almost three-year chart below shows how the price of their shares correlates with its 17% Return-on-Equity (ROE).CVE data by YCharts
Some of Cenovus' best results from their second quarter 2012 report derive from the fact that oil production climbed 28% to nearly 155,000 barrels-per-day. CVE received approval during that quarter for its Narrows Lake oil sands development, which is anticipated to have a production capacity of around 130,000 barrels-per-day. Yes, earnings-per-share during the second quarter dropped almost 40% (year-over-year) mostly due to lower oil prices during that quarter. Yet its revenue grew by over 5% to a trailing-12-months total of over $17.25 billion. This helped keep the dividend payout ratio to 40%, which should be sustainable for the foreseeable future. Again, I like CVE when it's at or below $34-a-share.