CNBC’s Jim Cramer recommended the following five oil and gas stocks on the Tuesday, November 29th episode of Mad Money. The following is my analysis of his recommendations on a valuation basis. I conclude that Cramer was right on all five picks: Core Labs, Cabot Oil & Gas, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and EOG Resources.
Core Labs (CLB) - Trading around $116.
A past Cramer pick, this reservoir management service provider to the oil and gas industry received a buy recommendation from Cramer. Trading up 30% YTD, Core Labs is the industry leader in the reservoir optimization niche and has strong free cash flow and 16% quarterly revenue growth (year-over-year). Due to the stock being fairly valued among its competitors, however, FBR Capital downgraded the stock to Market Perform at the end of October. Core Labs yields close to 1% and trades at 33 times earnings. Core Labs’ primary competitors, Baker Hughes (BHI) and Halliburton (HAL), are much larger companies. This is primarily due to their operations in other domains of the oil and gas industry. With Baker Hughes and Halliburton trading at less than 14 times earnings and generating quarterly revenue growth of 27% and 40% respectively, all three are good stocks to own in light of the U.S.’s recent oil boom. Cramer was right to recommend Core Labs.
Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) - Trading around $88.
Cramer recommended this oil and gas exploration company for investors looking for safe oil stocks with potential upside. Cabot is a rising star that is showing no signs of coming down any time soon. The stock is trading up 134% YTD, which may prompt some investors to wait for a pullback to pick up shares. The company’s wells in the Marcellus oil shale are increasingly productive. That, paired with the high price of oil, all but guarantees the continued short-term success of the stock. Cabot Oil & Gas is much smaller than its competitors, Anadarko Petroleum (APC). However, its smaller size and better performing assets will ultimately benefit the company. Cabot has a 17% quarterly revenue growth and a 80% gross margin. Cramer was right about Cabot Oil & Gas.
ConocoPhillips (COP) - Trading around $71.
Although Cramer’s charitable trust sold its position in ConocoPhillips, Cramer still gave it a buy recommendation. A low price-to-earnings ratio of 9.10, a 4.7% profit margin and a 3.7% dividend yield are more than enough reasons to be bullish on the integrated energy company. Only trading up 4.75% YTD, this just may be an appropriate buying opportunity. ConocoPhillips’ 35.7% quarterly revenue growth is better than both BP’s (BP) and Exxon Mobil’s (XOM), whose QRGs are 35.10% and 31.5% respectively. ConocoPhillips announced that it will continue its efforts to sell assets by offloading a Louisiana refinery. The sale could generate anywhere from $700M to $1B, not including inventory. This ability to raise cash paired with the rising cost of oil makes the stock a buy. Cramer was right to recommend ConocoPhillips.
Chevron (CVX) - Trading around $103.
Despite its contributions to an offshore oil spill off the coast of Brazil, for which it has been the recipient of public criticism, Chevron is trading up 12.5% YTD. This can be attributed to the fact that, for many investors, fundamentals often outweigh headlines. Relatively cheap, Chevron is trading at 7.5 times earnings. Cramer gave this petroleum company a buy recommendation, even though his charitable trust, Action Alerts Plus, liquidated its CVX shares. Chevron has a 26.2% quarterly revenue growth rate and yields 3.2%. The fact that Chevron retained its Class A status as an operator in Brazil, which means the company can still operate in its existing oil fields, helped the stock to stay afloat. Chevron’s gross and operating margins are more than double that of BP’s (BP). Successfully navigating the oil spill damage shows Chevron has nowhere to go but up. Cramer was right about Chevron.
EOG Resources (EOG) - Trading around $104.
This oil and natural gas producer consistently receives buy recommendations from Cramer, and rightfully so. Although the less-than-1% dividend yield is paltry at best, the company’s assets and fundamentals ensure investors will get a return on the rising stock price. EOG delivered a strong third quarter, generating $0.83 EPS (a $0.07 beat) and reported revenue of $2.89B, a $580M beat on estimates. EOG’s revenue saw an 82% year-over-year increase. EOG Resources is trading up 13.5% YTD and the stock trades at 27 times earnings. Capital One upgraded the stock on valuation, citing improving capital returns. EOG has the largest positions of any driller in both the Eagleford and Bakken oil shales. Cramer said EOG’s stock price is worth the Bakken shale assets alone. With 60% quarterly revenue growth and a 62% gross margin, EOG’s fundamentals are just as strong as its assets. Cramer was right about EOG Resources.