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The Best Dividend Stocks for 2012 – Energy Sector

|Includes: ConocoPhillips (COP), CVX

S&P recommends marketweighting the S&P 500 Energy sector. Year to date through November 18, the S&P Energy Index, which represented 12.4% of the S&P 500 Index, was down 0.1%, compared to a 3.3% decline for the S&P 500. In 2010, this sector index advanced 17.9%, versus a 12.8% increase for the 500. There are seven sub-industry indices in this sector, with Integrated Oil & Gas by far the largest at 56.7% of the sector’s market value.

S&P equity analysts have a positive fundamental outlook on the influential Integrated Oil & Gas sub-industry, as well as most of the sector’s other smaller sub-industry groups due to strong emerging market energy demand and tight global capacity. However, we believe that while oil prices will remain historically elevated, averaging $92.35/bbl. in 2011 and $95.53/bbl. in 2012, energy price appreciation will slow relative to 2010′s big advance owing to uncertain U.S. and European growth prospects. According to Capital IQ, the sector’s recent valuation of 9.8X consensus estimated 2012 EPS is below the 500′s P/E of 11.3X, as oil price volatility keeps investors from assigning the sector too high a valuation, in our view. The sector’s P/E-to-projected-five-year EPS growth rate (NYSE:PEG) ratio of 0.8X is below the broader market’s 1.0X. This sector’s marketweighted S&P STARS average of 4.3 (out of 5.0) is above the S&P 500′s average of 3.8.

See a list of high yield enery stocks.