The market has certainly seen its share of tumbles over the recent past - and there are no industries that are immune to this. Yet, while some companies have suffered irreparable damage, others are expected to bounce back quite nicely - and this could very well be the case for Occidental Petroleum (OXY).
In this article, I will discuss why I think that even though Occidental's stock shares have hit some bumps along the road, it will come back even stronger, and how patient investors can be rewarded with a nice solid dividend yield in the meantime while taking advantage of what could very well be a great bargain.
Established in 1920, Occidental Petroleum has a focus on both the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the U.S. as well as across the globe. The company has three key divisions, including Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other.
Although recent downward movements in the stock market have affected the company's share price, the stock is expected to bounce back up. Currently trading at just under $88, Occidental could see a share price closer to the $118 mark within the next year.
Due to its current share price, investors could find the company to be quite a bargain - especially given its targeted estimates. And, with a dividend of $2.16 per share, investors are now receiving a yield of 2.40% - a nice amount of income for those who intend to hang on to the shares while they expect them to make their predicted upward moving jump.
This can be especially true recently in light of the otherwise low interest rate environment on many of the fixed interest rate alternatives, and it is more than likely one of the key reasons why many analysts have continued to rank the shares of Occidental Petroleum as either a Buy or a Strong Buy for investors.
Trading on an average daily volume of approximately 4 million, the company boasts a market capitalization of roughly $71 billion and earnings per share of just a tad above 8. I feel that these shares can not only be a great buy in terms of income, though, but also for those who are focusing on capital gains.
Other Oil and Gas Players
The other key players in the oil and gas sector are both large and small. Likely one of Occidental's biggest competitors in terms of industry doings as well as investors' dollars is Exxon Mobil (XOM).
Although the current daily volume of over 15 million more than triples that of Occidental, the share price of $85 is close, and with a dividend of $1.88 - offering investors a dividend yield of roughly 2.20% - the two companies have a fair amount of fundamental similarities. And it is this dividend that has investors flocking to this type of stable company.
Another of Occidental Petroleum's closest competitors in terms of stock fundamentals is Apache (APA). This Houston, Texas-based oil and gas giant explores, develops, and produces natural gas and crude oil as well as natural gas liquids.
Apache's price to earnings ratio currently stands at just under 8. Yet, while the price of its stock is currently settled in the $90 per share range, analysts are predicting that within the next year, Apache could be hovering closer to $130.
One of Occidental's other close competitors, ConocoPhillips (COP), is providing its investors with a very rewarding dividend of 2.64, offering them a yield of 3.60%. Trading at well below its one year target estimate of nearly $82, ConocoPhillips could also be viewed as a bargain at its more recent price of just over $72.
ConocoPhillips market capitalization of just a tad over $92 billion also rivals that of Occidental, as does its price earnings ratio of approximately 8. Given these statistics, I would view this stock to also be a very good buy for investors who are seeking both income as well as growth with a nice solid and consistent company.
For those who prefer to stock up on lower priced shares of companies in the oil and gas industry, consideration may want to be given to Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG). Although the shares are recently at just under $9 per - well above its previous 52-week range of between 2.43 and 7.70 - the one year target estimate price for Kodiak stands at over $11, giving growth related investors a reason to look closer. The primary drawback here is that the company does not currently offer a dividend payout, so those who prefer some type of return while they hold on may be disappointed.
The Bottom Line
While there are a number of good buys in the oil and gas industry, I feel that it is usually safer to stick with the tried and true big boys who have been around for a while and offer their shareholders a good, solid dividend as well as the opportunity for growth.
Even though some of Occidental's competitors may be currently offering a tad higher amount in terms of their dividend yield, the prospects for share growth are not as positive for many of these firms - in some respects actually giving Occidental the best of both worlds for its shareholders.
This is the primary reason why I really like Occidental Petroleum stock and would certainly recommend the shares for the long term - especially for those who seek a nice dividend yield in their portfolio. The fundamentals for this company - as well as the analysts' outlook and estimates - all come in on a very strong note for these particular shares.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.