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Interested in gaining exposure to oil and gas companies? Do you prefer stocks that analysts rate as "buy"? Do you look for companies with low debt? Interested in companies with minimal long-term debt? Keeping these ideas in mind, we ran a screen you might be interested in.

The Debt/Equity Ratio illustrates how aggressively a company is financing its growth via debt. The more debt financing that is used in a capital structure, the more volatile earnings can become due to the additional interest expense. Should a company's potentially enhanced earnings fail to exceed the cost associated with debt financing over time, this can lead the company toward substantial trouble.

The Long-Term Debt/Equity Ratio is a variation of the traditional debt-to-equity ratio; this value computes the proportion of a company's long-term debt compared to its available capital. By using this ratio, investors can identify the amount of leverage utilized by a specific company and compare it to others to help analyze the company's risk exposure. Generally, companies that finance a greater portion of their capital via debt are considered riskier than those with lower leverage ratios.

We first looked for oil and gas stocks. We then screened for businesses that analysts rate as buy (2 < mean recommendation < 3). From here, we then looked for companies that have maintained a sound capital structure (D/E Ratio < 0.3). We next screened for businesses that operate with little to no long-term debt (Long-Term D/E Ratio < 0.1). We did not screen out any market caps.

Do you think these stocks are in strong positions for future growth? Use our list along with your own analysis.

1. Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$787.23M
Beta:-

Bonanza Creek Energy has an Analyst Rating of 1.90, a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.04, and a Long-Term Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.04. The short interest was 1.82% as of May 14, 2012. Bonanza Creek Energy engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of onshore oil and natural gas in the United States. Its assets and operations are concentrated primarily in southern Arkansas (Mid-Continent region) and the DJ and North Park Basins in Colorado (Rocky Mountain region). The company also owns and operates oil producing assets in the San Joaquin Basin in California.

2. Triangle Petroleum (TPLM)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$247.33M
Beta:1.74

Triangle Petroleum has an Analyst Rating of 1.90, a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00, and a Long-Term Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00. The short interest was 7.65% as of May 14, 2012. Triangle Petroleum engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of unconventional shale oil resources in the Bakken Shale and Three Forks formations in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana. The company primarily holds interests in approximately 83,000 net acres in McKenzie and Williams Counties of North Dakota, and Roosevelt and Sheridan Counties of Montana. It also holds an 87% working interest in approximately 412,924 net acres of oil and natural gas leases in the Windsor Sub-Basin of the Maritimes Basin located in Nova Scotia, Canada.

3. Cobalt International Energy (CIE)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$9.56B
Beta:-

Cobalt International Energy has an Analyst Rating of 1.80, a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.02, and a Long-Term Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00. The short interest was 1.18% as of May 14, 2012. Cobalt International Energy, a development stage company, operates as an independent oil-focused exploration and production company. It focuses on the deepwater of the United States Gulf of Mexico, and offshore Angola and Gabon in West Africa. The company has strategic relationships with Total E&P USA, Inc.

4. Harvest Natural Resources (HNR)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$224.59M
Beta:1.90

Harvest Natural Resources has an Analyst Rating of 2.00, a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.04, and a Long-Term Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00. The short interest was 16.91% as of May 14, 2012. Harvest Natural Resources, an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and disposition of oil and natural gas properties. It primarily holds interests in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; exploration acreage, including in onshore of West Sulawesi, Indonesia; offshore of Gabon; in onshore of Oman; and in offshore of the People's Republic of China.

5. Enbridge Energy Management LLC (EEQ)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$1.23B
Beta:0.69

Enbridge Energy Management has an Analyst Rating of 2.10, a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00, and a Long-Term Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00. The short interest was 1.45% as of May 14, 2012. Enbridge Energy Management operates as a limited partner of Enbridge Energy Partners that owns and operates crude oil and liquid petroleum transportation and storage assets in the United States. It also owns and operates natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation, and marketing assets.

6. Miller Energy Resources (MILL)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$165.18M
Beta:2.47

Miller Energy Resources has an Analyst Rating of 2.00, a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.10, and a Long-Term Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00. The short interest was 30.01% as of May 14, 2012. Miller Energy Resources engages in the exploration, production, and drilling of oil and natural gas resources in the United States. It primarily holds interests in approximately 699,402 gross acres of oil and gas leases and exploration licenses located in South central Alaska's Cook Inlet and Susitna Basins, and the Appalachian region of eastern Tennessee. The company was formerly known as Miller Petroleum, Inc.

Company profiles were sourced from Finviz. Financial data was sourced from Yahoo Finance.

Source: 6 Oil And Gas Stocks Holding Down Debt And Rated As Buys