Weekly Performance Update On 6 Foreign Oil And Gas Stocks

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 |  Includes: BP, E, RDS.A, STO, SU, TOT
by: Power Hedge

The bottom fell out of oil prices this week. The price of both WTI and Brent crude fell significantly during the middle of the week, with WTI reaching a low of just under $91 per barrel before recovering slightly on Thursday. According to Reuters, Brent crude experienced its worst week since June over the past five days. The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 index (NYSEARCA:SPY), performed much better. It was down slightly, but with considerable volatility. This caused differing, although generally negative, effects on the six stocks that are tracked by this weekly update series.

Statoil (NYSE:STO) opened at $26.88 on September 17, 2012. The stock closed at $26.83 in after-hours trading on September 21, 2012. Stockholders in the company thus suffered a loss of $0.05 per ADR share or 0.19% over the week. Statoil opened at $25.39 on August 27, 2012. This gives the stock a trailing four-week gain of $1.44 or 5.67%.

STO 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

STO 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

BP plc (NYSE:BP) opened the week at $43.85. The stock closed at $43.16 in after-hours trading on September 21. BP's stockholders thus experienced a loss of $0.69 or 1.57% over the week. BP opened at $42.19 on August 27. Thus, shareholders of BP stock witnessed a gain of $0.97 or 2.30% over the trailing four-week period. BP offered a deal to Russia's Rosneft that would turn the London-based company into the largest outside investor in Rosneft. The offer is contingent on BP being able to divest itself of TNK-BP. This would essentially allow BP to continue to profit off of the large fields in Russia's arctic and not have the legal issues that would come with directly drilling the wells themselves. It is too early to say how exactly this deal could play out but there are signs that it could be quite good for BP shareholders.

BP 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

BP 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Total S.A. (NYSE:TOT) opened on September 17 at $54.48 per share. The stock closed at $52.36 in after-hours trading on September 21. This gives ADR shareholders a loss of $2.12 or 3.89% for the week. Total opened on August 27 at $49.32. Thus, stockholders have seen a gain of $3.04 or 6.16% over the past four weeks. Total went ex-dividend this week, on September 19. Shareholders as of the market close on the previous day will receive a dividend of about $0.69 per share. This reduces the effective loss over the past week to $1.43 or 2.62% when the dividend is considered. This dividend also increases the total return over the trailing four-week period to $3.73 or 7.56%.

TOT 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

TOT 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Suncor (NYSE:SU) opened on September 17 at $35.19. The stock closed at $33.79 in after-hours trading on September 21. This gives the stock a loss of $1.40 or 3.98% for the week. The stock opened on August 27, 2012 at $31.72. Thus, Suncor stock has experienced a gain of $2.07 or 6.53% over the trailing four-week period. Suncor went ex-dividend on August 30, 2012. Shareholders as of market close on the previous day will receive a dividend payment of $0.13. Therefore, Suncor's gain over the trailing four-week period was $2.20 or 6.94% when the dividend is considered. Stock ratings firm The Street reiterated its Buy rating on Suncor stock. The Street stated that Suncor's strengths can be seen in several areas, including revenue growth, reasonable debt levels, and good operating cash flows.

SU 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

SU 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) opened at $72.90 on September 17, 2012. The stock closed at $71.51 in after-hours trading on Friday, September 21. Shareholders thus suffered from a loss of $1.39 or 1.91% for the week. The stock opened at $70.38 on August 27, 2012. Shareholders thus experienced a gain of $1.13 per share or 1.61% over the trailing four-week period. Shell announced earlier this week that it has been forced to put its Arctic drilling program on hold for another year due to damage to a spill containment dome following a test. This is yet another setback for the company's ambitious $4.5 billion project to produce oil off of the Alaskan coast. The Obama administration remains supportive of Shell's efforts as it will reduce the nation's dependence on imported foreign oil; however, this setback illustrates the challenging nature and difficulties involved in tapping the rich oil reserves of the Arctic.

RDS.A 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

RDS.A 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Eni (NYSE:E) opened at $48.65 on September 17. The stock closed at $48.06 in after-hours trading on Friday, September 21. Shareholders thus suffered a loss of $0.59 or 1.21% for the week. The stock opened at $43.72 on August 27, 2012. Shareholders thus profited from a gain of $4.34 per share or 9.93% over the trailing four-week period. Eni made a large discovery in Ghana on September 20. This is the latest in a series of discoveries that have given Eni one of the best exploration and discovery records in the entire oil and gas industry over the past year. This discovery, like all of the others, adds to the company's reserve base and could ultimately lead to further production once the company develops this new find.

E 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

E 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

All six of these stocks suffered losses in the past week, although the trailing four-week period looks much better with all six of them up over that period. The stock with the smallest loss this week and thus the best performer was Statoil. The worst performer was Suncor Energy. Suncor had a loss almost double that of the second-worst performer, Total. Historically, Suncor has been the most volatile stock of these six and this serves to illustrate that fact. The best performer over the trailing four-week period was French oil supermajor Total, which posted a 7.56% return when the dividend is included. The worst performer was also a supermajor, Royal Dutch Shell. Royal Dutch Shell returned 1.61% over the trailing four-week period.

Disclosure: I am long BP, STO, SU. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.