NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- At the end of my last energy-company-related article, I wrote the following: "Meanwhile, if you want to catch the next HES-style energy opportunity, our own Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link like Occidental Petroleum (OXY), which pays a delectable 3.28% current yield-to-price and trades at slightly more than 10 times forward (one-year) earnings."This is the kind of compelling investment theme that deserves our careful consideration. With a company like OXY, we have an opportunity to "catch a wave" before all the other stock "surfers" know the underlying potential of the "wave" and how rewarding a "ride" lies ahead. This is no April Fool's Day story and that's why I wanted to circle back to OXY and explain why I own it and want to buy more shares. Speaking of April 1st, this morning just after the markets opened, TheStreet Ratings reiterated its "buy" recommendation on OXY, and the disclosure from the editor is a good place to begin. "Editor's note: TheStreet Ratings does not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by a computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model." The above disclosure is important because the "buy" recommendation is done by an unemotional, non-human, computer-based screening analysis of important economic and financial metrics that use straight logic to separate "the wheat from the chaff." It gives the investor a relatively unbiased picture of the kind of companies that have both obvious positive features as well as some inconspicuous ones. Shares of OXY hit an intraday low of $77.21 on March 26, and since that time the intraday lows and highs have been moving up. On this first day of April, the low was $77.91 and from there the share price headed above $79 after TheStreet Ratings' reiteration. Make smarter trading decisions and provide investment ideas that could help make you richer. Bryan Ashenberg does the dirty work so you don't have to!
When the company reports earnings and sales growth on April 22 (in three weeks), the analyst community's consensus average estimate for EPS calls for around a 13% decline from a year earlier. When it comes to sales growth and revenue, the same group's average estimate is for a meager 1.7% increase. My point is that expectations are low, the stock's price has been under a lot of pressure, and the officers of the company will be on the hot seat when they step into the earnings confessional. When you look at Oxy's Web site describing its businesses and operations, you may perceive that OXY is the kind of company that a wealthy activist hedge fund would like to take control of.