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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pfizer, BioNTech, Occidental Petroleum, Devon Energy, Diamondback Energy, Baker Hughes and Marathon Oil

·5 min read
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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 14, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Pfizer Inc. PFE, BioNTech SE BNTX, Occidental Petroleum Corporation OXY, Devon Energy Corporation DVN, Diamondback Energy, Inc. FANG, Baker Hughes Company BKR and Marathon Oil Corporation MRO.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Energy Sector Up 21% in Past 3 Months: Will the Rally Continue?

One of the sectors hit worst by the coronavirus pandemic, energy, is finally having something to cheer about.

Not long ago, the contagion caused energy stocks to sink along with crude prices. The commodity was ravaged by a perfect storm of bad news — the COVID-induced demand slump amid a supply glut. Oil’s horror show saw black gold’s price falling below $30, $20, $10 and even going negative for a while. The commodity’s collapse threatened the industry’s creditworthiness by hurting cash flows, drying up liquidity and narrowing profit margins.

However, most indicators show that energy could be on a recovery path. Currently at around $47 per barrel, WTI oil prices are at multi-month highs, while the international benchmark (or the Brent) went past $50 yesterday for the first time since March. It appears that the commodity is on the mend with the Energy Select Sector SPDR — an assortment of the largest U.S. energy companies — up nearly 28% over the past three months to be at the top of the S&P sector standings.

The renewed enthusiasm can be gauged from the fact that the Zacks Oil/Energy sector has gained 20.7% in the past three months, handily outperforming the S&P 500 Index’s 9.9% appreciation. The rise in prices is primarily being driven by continued vaccine-related developments that offer hope of an earlier-than-expected pickup in oil demand.

Last week, the U.K. government approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine — the first country in the world to do so. The move by the British government, which is likely to be followed by other nations including the United States, is seen as big step against the deadly pandemic that has crushed the commodity’s demand and caused a bloodbath for the energy-related stocks. A vaccine is expected to revive economic and transport activity, leading to stronger crude demand.

Oil bulls are also supported by the OPEC + agreement to increase output by 500,000 barrels-a-day from January instead of the prescheduled 2 million barrels per day.

Amid gains in crude prices, shares of oil-related companies have rallied in the past three months. As a matter of fact, some of the top gainers of the S&P 500 during this period were energy firms — Occidental Petroleum, Devon Energy, Diamondback Energy, Baker Hughes and Marathon Oil.

Occidental Petroleum was the top performing stock with a gain of 108.6%, while Devon Energy is the next best name on the list with its stock surging 84.8%. Diamondback Energy, Baker Hughes and Marathon Oil — all carrying a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) — rounded out the list with increases of 68.7%, 65.8% and 63.3%, respectively.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Conclusion

Progress of the vaccine candidates notwithstanding, the road to recovery remains long and uncertain amid soaring new coronavirus infections in many countries, and the re-imposition of lockdowns that is severely hampering the fragile oil demand recovery.

But on the whole, hopes for an early COVID-19 vaccine seems to have outweighed the negative effects associated with the new curbs and restrictions. In other words, the vaccine rally has the potential to push WTI oil through the $50 mark after the international benchmark achieved the coveted feat yesterday.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Click to get this free report Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) : Free Stock Analysis Report Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report Devon Energy Corporation (DVN) : Free Stock Analysis Report Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY) : Free Stock Analysis Report Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG) : Free Stock Analysis Report Baker Hughes Company (BKR) : Free Stock Analysis Report BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research