ConocoPhillips COP is a leading upstream energy firm in the world on the basis of production and reserves. Currently, the firm carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Factors Working in Favor
West Texas Intermediate crude price, trading at more than $90 per barrel, is highly favorable for upstream activities. Being a leading exploration and production company globally, ConocoPhillips is well-positioned to capitalize on handsome crude prices.
ConocoPhillips has secured a solid production outlook, thanks to its decades of drilling inventories across its low-cost and diversified upstream asset base. The resource base represents the company’s strong footprint in prolific acres in the United States, comprising Eagle Ford shale, Permian Basin and Bakken shale. ConocoPhillips boasted that drilling and completion activities are increasingly becoming efficient in all the key U.S. basins.
Compared to composite stocks belonging to the industry, the leading upstream energy company has considerably lower exposure to debt capital. This reflects that COP is better positioned to rely on its strong balance sheet to withstand any adverse business scenario.
Being an upstream energy player, the overall operations of the company are exposed to volatility in oil and natural gas prices. Moreover, the company’s overall operating and production expenses continue to increase due to the inflationary market, hurting the bottom line.
Stocks to Consider
Better-ranked players in the energy space include Magellan Midstream Partners LP MMP, Profire Energy, Inc. PFIE and Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. HLX. While Magellan Midstream and Profire Energy carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Helix Energy sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Magellan Midstream has extensive petroleum midstream infrastructures that will be needed in the United States for decades to come. The business model of the partnership is resilient to commodity price fluctuations and derives stable fee-based revenues.
Profire Energy is mainly focused on the oil and gas industry’s upstream, midstream and downstream transmission segments. PFIE has boasted that its legacy business is doing extremely well, thanks to the resumption of maintenance work of exploration and production players.
Helix Energy is a leading player and is well-poised to grow in the favorable crude pricing environment since it primarily provides specialty services to the offshore energy industry.
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