It’s been a year of windfall profits for oil and gas companies. Indeed, it isn’t surprising that energy stocks have performed well through 2022. Surging oil prices due to supply and demand dislocations have made these companies extremely profitable.
That said, oil has started to correct from its highs on global growth concerns. I believe that this correction provides an opportunity to consider adding exposure to long-term energy stocks to buy.
It’s worth noting that the U.S. Energy Information Administration believes that Brent oil is likely to average $90 in 2023. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also expects oil demand to touch pre-pandemic levels in 2023. Even with some economic concerns, the outlook for the energy sector seems positive.
Factors such as geo-political tensions are also likely to ensure that oil remains firm over the next few years. Last year, Russell Hardy, CEO of commodity trader Vitol warned of an “oil supply ‘gap’ in 2025-2035 as upstream spending ebbs.” Therefore, even with investors’ focus increasingly on green energy, it’s too early to write-off fossil fuel investments.
Let’s therefore talk about four long-term energy stocks to buy for sustained value creation.
After touching 52-week highs of $182, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) stock dipped to as low as $135 per share. However, CVX stock has since bounced back from lows, and at current levels, seems attractive for long-term exposure.
An obvious reason to buy CVX stock is this company’s attractive dividend yield of 4%. With an investment-grade balance sheet and strong cash flows, dividend growth seems likely.
For Q2 2022, Chevron reported operating cash flow of $13.3 billion. This company’s annual cash flow potential is well over $30 billion (discounting the correction in oil prices). Thus, for those seeking companies valued attractively on a price-to-cash-flow basis, CVX stock is up there with the best.
As of 2021, Chevron reported 11.3 billion barrels in proved oil-equivalent reserves. For the last year, the company also reported a robust reserve replacement ratio of 112%. With strong financial flexibility, Chevron is well-positioned to continue to make big investments in exploration. Reserve replacement is therefore likely to remain strong.
With a healthy balance sheet, Chevron is also making big investments in renewable energy development. Over the next few years, this segment is likely to positively contribute to growth as well.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) has continued to load up on shares of Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY). Currently, the investment company holds a 20.9% stake in Occidental. Indeed, wherever the Oracle of Omaha invests is where many investors will start looking for real value.
Buffett’s long-term investment in OXY stock is a potential indicator of the value the energy sector is likely to create in the coming years. Of course, there are many reasons why Warren Buffett may be bullish on OXY stock. Occidental has been generating robust cash flows, which are being used to strengthen the company’s credit profile. In Q2 2022 alone, the company retired $4.8 billion debt.
With deleveraging, Occidental is positioned to increase shareholder returns as debt servicing costs decline and profits rise. Over the long-term, OXY stock certainly appears compelling as a top dividend growth stock to buy.
From an asset perspective, Occidental is also one of the largest acreage holders in the United States. As of December 2021, the company reported 3.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in proved reserves. A robust reserve base with an attractive break-even cost per barrel ensures stable cash flows in the years to come.
Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) stock has surged by 78% in the last 12 months. That said, I still consider this stock to be among the top long-term energy stocks to buy.
Marathon Oil has U.S.-focused assets with a strong presence in the Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford regions, among others. As of December 2021, Marathon reported proved reserves of 1,106 million barrels of oil equivalent. On a year-on-year basis, proved reserves increased by 14%.
It’s worth noting that Marathon had guided for free cash flow in excess of $3 billion at $80 WTI. The company however revised the FCF guidance to $4.5 billion in Q2 2022. This was assuming a scenario where WTI is priced at $100 and Henry hub at $6.
With robust FCF visibility, Marathon is positioned to increase investments and dividend. On the downside, Marathon expects free cash flows to break even at $35 WTI. Therefore, even if oil were to correct further, there is visibility for positive long-term free cash flows for this company.
Overall, Marathon has attractive assets with a low break-even price per barrel. This company’s strong balance sheet provides a long runway for organic growth and potential acquisitions.
Moving away from oil and gas exploration companies, Transocean (NYSE:RIG) is attractive among offshore rig providers. The stock has corrected by almost 38% in the last six-months. However, this correction seems overdone, as the company encounters a number of positive business catalysts.
As an overview, Transocean has a fleet of 39 floaters with 100% focus on harsh environment and ultra-deep water ships. As of September 2022, Transocean reported an order backlog of $7.4 billion. This backlog provides clear cash flow visibility for the next two years.
With oil above $80 per barrel, Transocean has been able to secure recent contracts at a higher day-rate. Thus, EBITDA margin expansion is likely in 2023 and beyond.
It’s also worth noting that Transocean has a liquidity buffer of $1.9 billion. With visibility for positive cash flows, the company is positioned to deleverage.
With a high-quality fleet, strong backlog and improving credit metrics, RIG stock is attractive after a deep correction.
On the date of publication, Faisal Humayun did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.