With the Federal Reserve set to implement aggressive interest rate hikes to combat inflation, the broader narrative for energy stocks to buy may not be that appealing to investors. However, it’s also clear that thanks to hotter-than-expected inflation readings, the central bank has its work cut out for it.
Another factor to consider is the worsening geopolitical situation. Recently, Russia stirred the pot of its invasion of Ukraine by cutting off natural gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Effectively, a large portion of hydrocarbon supplies is now offline to the western world. Almost invariably, then, this catalyst will boost energy stocks to buy.
As well, tensions tend to beget tensions. For instance, the former Soviet countries of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are fighting amid flaring historical and ethnic tensions.
Therefore, with so much volatility, it’s wise for investors to focus on energy stocks to buy.
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A vertically integrated hydrocarbon company, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) involves itself in every aspect of energy production. To be fair, though, it nowadays focuses largely on the upstream component, which handles on exploration and production. Given that geopolitics did a number on energy stocks to buy because of supply crunch implications, COP stock likewise suffered.
Heading into the weekend, the stock closed the Friday, Sept. 16 session down 2%. For the week ending that Friday, COP slipped a little more than 1%. Of course, ConocoPhillips doesn’t represent the biggest discounted opportunity among energy stocks to buy. Nevertheless, because of its wide footprint and increasing global demand for hydrocarbon supplies, any dip may be a buy signal.
Gurufocus labels COP as “fairly valued.” Arguably the company’s best feature from a financial perspective is its profitability metrics. One highlight is its operating margin, which stands at 33.13%. In comparison, the oil and gas industry median is 7.4%.
Devon Energy (DVN)
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On a similar fundamental note to ConocoPhillips above, Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) benefits from the wild circumstances cynically bolstering energy stocks. Effectively, when Russia invaded Ukraine and subsequently responded to U.S. and European sanctions with its own commodity-based penalties, it weaponized hydrocarbons. Now cut off from a valuable energy source, Europe is scrambling for solutions.
Unfortunately, a hydrocarbon bailout might not be arriving, per energy bosses. Nevertheless, European leaders must understand that this struggle will have years-long (perhaps decades-long) consequences. Therefore, the broader narrative supports independent oil and gas exploration and production firms like Devon Energy.
Better yet, because the U.S. market finds more than enough distractions to keep it occupied, Wall Street may not be appreciating the long-term implications for DVN. Last Friday, DVN dropped nearly 4% while for the week it fell more than 5%. However, this is likely a temporary circumstance. Against a longer-term framework, DVN is one of the best energy stocks to buy.
Coterra Energy (CTRA)
At issue regarding the geopolitical flashpoint in eastern Europe is natural gas. Specifically, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas which is cooled at a liquefaction facility to approximately -260°F at atmospheric pressure. The end result facilitates an easier canvas for international transportation.
Significantly, Coterra Energy (NYSE:CTRA) and sector competitor Devon Energy are both exploring new LNG opportunities, per Reuters. According to an article from May 2022, “Demand for U.S. LNG has boomed in recent months, driven by shortages in Europe and supply concerns after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” Indeed, such a statement turned prescient given Russia’s weaponization of hydrocarbon outflows.
Despite the long-term positive implications for Coterra, CTRA took a massive hit on Friday, suffering a 6.5% loss. Over the trailing week, it lost 4.5% of market value. Not only that, in the trailing month, shares declined by nearly 5%. Nevertheless, the geopolitical narrative simply runs too hot to ignore Coterra. Therefore, CTRA is one of the energy stocks to buy on the dip.
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If you’re looking for a somewhat safer (in context of course) idea among energy stocks, Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) fits the bill. An oilfield services company, Schlumberger plays a vital role on an infrastructural level. Put another way, an upstream (exploration and production) firm carries the risk of not finding anything useful. However, Schlumberger serves an existing demand base.
As well, the company will likely see cynical geopolitical benefits that have bolstered other energy stocks over the long run. With Russia’s energy weaponization, multiple countries are desperately seeking reliable sources of hydrocarbons. Presumably, then, the oilfields will be busy, bolstering the narrative for SLB stock.
However, Wall Street at the moment doesn’t see it that way. Last Friday, SLB declined by 3.2%. Over the week ending Sept. 16, SLB dropped over 4%. And in the trailing half-year period, SLB is in the red by 6%. Still, with energy prices likely to rise according to expert forecasts, Schlumberger represents one of the energy stocks to buy on the dip.
Kinder Morgan (KMI)
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One of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) represents a powerhouse in the midstream segment. Essentially, midstream operators are the stagehands of the hydrocarbon industry. Dealing with areas such as storage and transportation, they’re background players, quietly and diligently providing the connection between upstream and downstream companies.
In many cases, you don’t hear about midstream players until something bad happens. However, as an investor, you should pay close attention, particularly to KMI. Gurufocus considers Kinder Morgan “modestly undervalued.” Featuring a relatively balanced financial profile, the company’s greatest strength lies in its profitability metrics. A standout is its operating margin of 21.6%, much higher than the aforementioned sector median of 7.4%.
Still, Wall Street is giving you a great deal on KMI. On Friday, the stock declined 2.6%. Over the trailing week, it slipped 4.5%. Over the trailing month, shares are down 4% and on a trailing half-year basis, shares fell 1%. Consider grabbing this discount before it and other energy stocks jump higher.
Valero Energy (VLO)
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Although Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) involves itself in several components of the hydrocarbon business, it features a viable downstream business. Technically, when analysts talk about downstream hydrocarbon specialists, they refer to “processes that occur after the production phase to the point of sale.” In simple terms, if it goes into your fuel tank, it’s downstream.
What I appreciate about energy stocks to buy tethered to the downstream segment is price inelasticity. Of course, fluctuating prices impact consumer behaviors. Specifically, though, baseline demand is inelastic. At a certain point, consumers must buy fuel to get to where they’re going, irrespective of the cost.
However, as logical as that might sound, Wall Street doesn’t believe in the thesis, apparently. Over the trailing week ended Sept. 16, VLO dropped about 10% of market value. In the trailing month, shares dipped more than 11%. Still, I expect this trajectory to turn around because of the inelasticity principle mentioned earlier.
Murphy USA (MUSA)
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Another downstream specialist, Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) represents one of the energy stocks that rarely went on discount this year. Now that it’s doing so, investors ought to pay attention to MUSA stock.
On Friday, Murphy USA lost about 1.8% of market value. In the week ended Sept. 16, MUSA dropped more than 5%. Against the trailing month, the red ink comes out to a magnitude of 6.1%. However, on a wider scale, we’re talking about a security that gained a hair over 40% for the year. It’s certainly not a name to ignore.
One major factor that separates Murphy USA from other downstream energy stocks is economics. The company represents one of the largest independent retailers of gasoline products and convenience store merchandise. More importantly, it strategically locates its stations near discount-oriented big-box retailers.
That should go a long way in helping both budget-sensitive customers as well as folks who have money but also don’t mind a discount.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.
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