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Oil Stocks to Watch as Russia-Ukraine Conflict Escalates

Opportunities abound in the oil patch, here are three stocks we like 

Global markets plunged sharply after Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Any thoughts that this might be a minor incursion were expelled as Russia entered the country on three fronts with a stated goal of overthrowing the current government. 

Depositphotos.com contributor/Depositphotos.com – MarketBeat

However, in late-day trading, all three major indexes have turned positive. This may be a normal consequence of investors having short memories. With the unknown now becoming the known, investors are looking for opportunities.  

Over the next few weeks, MarketBeat will give you a look at the sectors and stocks that should be winners and losers in the ongoing conflict.  

The most obvious sector that they should pay attention to is oil and gas. Russia provides 35% of Europe’s natural gas and its proximity to Eastern Europe makes it a critical pipeline to the continent. And in less than 24 hours since the invasion began, crude oil prices surged over the psychologically significant $100 per barrel mark (topping $104) before falling back.  

However, that respite is only postponing the inevitable. Oil prices will continue to rise and that means Americans will continue to pay more at the pump. This dynamic is already encouraging investors to plow money into oil stocks. Here are a few names for you to watch. 

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) – We’ve been bullish on Chevron for a while. And CVX was the only Dow component in the green when trading opened the morning after the Russian invasion. It’s given back those gains, but investors can make an argument that CVX is undervalued relative to the increase in crude oil prices.  

Chevron is making strategic investments in renewable energy including with renewable natural gas. With the Biden administration showing no intention of pivoting from its climate change agenda, we think that traditional oil companies that are playing the long game with renewable energy are sound investments. 

And even if Chevron doesn’t deliver the growth you expect, the company is a Dividend Aristocrat having increased its dividend in each of the last 34 years. 

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is another stock that merits a closer look. COP stock is up 21.7% for the year. As of the market close on February 23, oil/energy stocks were up a combined 14.4%. ConocoPhillips describes itself as the world’s largest independent exploration and production company with holdings across 14 countries including much of Europe.  

The company recently completed a $1.4 billion acquisition of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Australia. Bloomberg forecasts LNG demand to rise 5% this year after a 6% rise in 2022. However, that forecast was issued prior to the Russian invasion which may push demand even higher. 

Past performance is no indicator of future results, but with the stock already up by a considerable amount, it seems likely that the stock will easily push past the consensus price target of $90.65 set by the analyst community.  

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) – closes out this list of oil stocks to watch. There are times a global footprint is good. But this may be one time when investors would prefer to invest in a company that’s located a bit closer to home.  

And location helps to make a compelling argument for DVN stock. Namely, it is an independent oil and gas company that has operations largely focused onshore in the United States.  

The stock is up 19.8% for the year and the DVN stock price does not yet appear to reflect the company’s strong earnings report which has resulted in four analysts boosting their price target for the stock.  

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