By Jon "DRJ" Najarian
Consol Energy (NYSE:CNX) chart
Here are my top five predictions for 2012, as well as some names that may be affected by them.
1. Energy: Oil. The one-two punch of the XL Pipeline loss or delay and more restrictive Gulf oil drilling will push gasoline at the pump up through $4.50 per gallon. If the Iran situation heats up, the price could hit $5 or more, presenting a far more significant headwind to the economy than European debt contagion. Potential plays: Hess (NYSE:HES), Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), Sunoco (NYSE:SUN).
2. Energy: Coal. The other black gold will ramp up along with crude oil in 2012. Tax-loss selling has helped push CNX, BTU, JRCC, and PCX back near their 2011 lows. I don't think that green-energy plays are ready for prime time, so I believe that the only ways to heat or cool your home and or keep the lights on at your business are by burning natural gas, coal, or by nuclear power. Potential plays: Consol Energy (CNX), James River Coal (JRCC), Massey Energy (NYSE:MEE), Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), Patriot Coal (PCX).
3. Energy: Picks and Shovels. The Bakken Shale production is through the roof and continuing to rise on a weekly basis. There are 1,800 new wells in 2011 alone, and each new facility requires 23 carloads of rail-delivered materials during construction. The Bakken production is already 300,000 bbs per day and is expected to double by 2013. It takes up to 118-car unit trains to haul 68,000 bbs per trip. Potential plays: Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B), Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE:CP), Canadian National Railroad (NYSE:CNI).
In addition, the steel stocks that either make rail for the upgrade of track, or steel for pipelines like the proposed XL pipeline. Potential plays: ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), AK Steel (NYSE:AKS), Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD), Nucor (NYSE:NUE), U.S. Steel (NYSE:X).
4. Research In Motion. I believe that a bid for the BlackBerry maker will be announced in the first quarter of 2012. That would touch off a bidding war for RIMM, with the takeover pricing north of $24. Potential play: Research In Motion (RIMM).
5. Housing. Because of rising rents and other factors, I think that buyers will be pushed back into the market. It may not be as robust as it should be, but the reversal will still be noteworthy and continue for several years. Potential plays: Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE:ARE), Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH), KB Home (NYSE:KBH), Ryland (NYSE:RYL).