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No asset is ever completely safe from all economic uncertainty. Still, it’s tough to argue that energy stocks as a whole haven’t treated their shareholders well over the long haul. Given the global economic uncertainty investors currently face some energy companies have become substantially cheaper and retraced far from their 52-week highs. Thus while the markets continue to remain chaotic at least there is a little bit more of a silver lining.

The forward P/E is a price multiple valuation metric, which is similar to the current P/E ratio except that it uses the forecasted earnings instead. While this number might not be as accurate because it’s “forecasted” it does offer the benefit of illustrating analysts’ expectations of a company. If the market believes that earnings will grow moving forward then the forward P/E should be lower than the current P/E.

We ran a screen for energy stocks that were cheap by their forward P/E (X<10). From this narrowed pool, we looked for companies that were at least 40% below their 52-Week high.

The forward P/E lists these companies from lowest to highest:

1. Western Refining Inc. (WNR)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing

Market Cap

$1,181M

Beta

0.60

The company refining crude oil into a variety of different products.. WNR’s forward P/E is 4.00. The company is 40.23% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was 31.80% as of 08/31/2011.

2. Basic Energy Services, Inc. (BAS)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Equipment & Services

Market Cap

$563M

Beta

2.44


The company provides a range of well site services to oil and gas drilling companies. BAS’s forward P/E is 4.42. The company is 64.91% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was 16.20% as of 08/31/2011.

3. Valero Energy Corporation. (VLO)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing

Market Cap

$10,573M

Beta

1.09

The company is the largest North American independent refiner. VLO’s forward P/E is 4.42. The company is 40.62% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was 3.10% as of 08/31/2011.

4. Complete Production Services, (CPX)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Equipment & Services

Market Cap

$1,573M

Beta

3.13

The company provides services relative to reduce costs, generating hydrocarbon reserves, and enhancing production. CPX’s forward P/E is 4.75. The company is 53.45% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was 12.80% as of 08/31/2011.

5. Stone Energy Corporation. (SGY)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas E&P

Market Cap

$917M

Beta

2.89


An independent company that owns and operates oil and gas properties within the US. SGY’s forward P/E is 5.00. The company is 47.94% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was 8.90% as of 08/31/2011.

6. Petrobras Argentina SA. (PZE)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Integrated

Market Cap

$1,474M

Beta

0.50


The company is engaged in the exploration, production, and refining of oil and gas. PZE’s forward P/E is 5.31. The company is 48.97% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was N/A as of 08/31/2011.

7. Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Drilling

Market Cap

$4,045M

Beta

1.92


The company offers land-drilling services around the world. NBR’s forward P/E is 5.63. The company is 56.67% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was 2.30% as of 08/31/2011.

8. Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (PTEN)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Drilling

Market Cap

$2,791M

Beta

1.84


A provider of onshore contract drilling services to independent oil and natural gas operators. The company is engaged in the development, exploration, acquisition and production of oil and natural gas. PTEN’s forward P/E is 5.72. The company is 47.40 % below the 52-Week high. The short interest was 5.00% as of 08/31/2011.

9. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobr. (PBR)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Integrated

Market Cap

$150,599M

Beta

1.40


The company is the leader in Brazilian oil exploration, production, and distribution. PBR’s forward P/E is 5.90. The company is 45.99% below the 52-Week high. The short interest was N/A as of 08/31/2011.

10. Murphy Oil Corporation. (MUR)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas Integrated

Market Cap

$ 8,681 M

Beta

1.18


The company explores, produces, and markets oil along with gas around the world. MUR’s forward P/E is 6.30. The company is 42.60 % below the 52-Week high. The short interest was N/A as of 08/31/2011.


We hope this list helps as investors do their own due diligence on eneergy stocks.


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 10 Cheap Energy Stocks That Are Far From 52-Week Highs