The summer driving season is almost upon us. Millions of Americans will take vacations and travel to their favorite summer destinations. As more Americans take to the road, gas prices are likely to increase. From Memorial Day to Labor Day is when oil prices normally see their biggest rise. So, how can you profit from the coming surge in oil prices?
1. Buy one of the major integrated oil companies.
Take your pick from Hess (NYSE:HES), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), BP (NYSE:BP), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), and Total (NYSE:TOT). Most of these companies are trading at just 7 and 8 times earnings. A rise in oil prices will be a big boost to the bottom line at these companies. Oil investors will also reap some nice dividends from most of these companies.
2. Buy the oil service providers.
Oil service companies like Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), Transocean (NYSE:RIG), and Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) all stand to directly benefit from rising oil prices. Rig rental rates will rise with any increase in oil prices. Regulatory fears and analyst downgrades are making this sector start to look more attractive. Even if new regulations increase the costs of drilling, these costs will be passed along to the consumer.
3. Buy an oil ETF.
If you don’t feel like trying to guess which oil stocks will flourish, you can buy them all with an oil exchange traded fund. ETFs like the Oil Services Holders (NYSEARCA:OIH), iShares Dow Jones US Energy (NYSEARCA:IYE), and the iShares Dow Jones US Oil & Gas Exploration (NYSEARCA:IEO) will provide you with exposure to the oil and gas sector. The OIH buys shares of oil service companies. The IYE will give you exposure to the major integrated oil companies and the IEO purchases oil exploration and production companies.
4. Buy a leveraged ETF.
Speculators looking for risk can buy shares of the ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas ETF (NYSEARCA:DIG) and the ProShares Ultra Crude Oil Fund (NYSEARCA:UCO). These ETF’s seek to double the daily performance of oil. These funds are suitable only for trading. Avoid risky ETNs like DXO which are likely to be shut down by regulators.
Disclosure: I do own shares of BP