Industry watchers expect 2024 to be a much stronger year for energy stocks for growth than 2023. Fidelity, for example, expects energy stocks to rebound due to limited supply, healthy demand, and increasing investment In production.
2023 was a particularly weak year for energy stocks. By mid-December, the energy sector had fallen by 6.7% while the overall markets increased by nearly 20%.
However, the energy sector showed some signs of vitality to end the year improving to an overall 1.3% decline in 2023. Granted, that wasn’t great, but far better than it was. Encouragingly, that uptick left investors searching for energy stocks for growth with the potential to double.
VAALCO Energy (EGY)
VAALCO Energy (NYSE:EGY) Is a smaller exploration and production firm in the oil sector with an attractive stock. Shares trade for less than $4.50 and are rated a buy, with an average consensus target of $8.30. Thus, VAALCO Energy can double investor capital.
EGY also yields 5.88% at the moment and is developing crude oil assets located In the West African nations of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. From an operational standpoint, VAALCO Energy is doing well. 2023 production volumes reached between 18,700 and 18,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day. That was near the high end of the range from 18,300 to 18,900.
Additionally, the company grew its cash equivalents to $120 million while returning $12.5 million to investors in the form of dividends and buybacks.
Kosmos Energy (KOS)
Kosmos Energy (NYSE:KOS) Is another low-priced exploration and production firm in the oil sector. Like VAALCO Energy, it is a stock with assets in West Africa. The company engages in offshore production primarily in Ghana and Equatorial Guinea as well as in the Gulf of Mexico.
Analysts expect KOS shares to rise by roughly 70% at the top end. It trades for $6.25 though so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that it doubles.
In addition, during the third quarter, the company produced 68,200 barrels of oil per day while selling 73,100. Production increased by 17% during the quarter with further increases expected at the time.
Meanwhile, the company increased its working interest in the Yaakar Teranga gas discoveries off the coast of Senegal upon BP’s (NYSE:BP) exit. The asset is a rich liquefied natural gas (LNG) deposit. That should allow the company to continue to increase its production.
Precision Drilling (PDS)
The company also markets itself as being particularly green with a Target Zero commitment. The commitment is a set of goals that aspires to eliminate All occupational injuries and illnesses while removing environmental harm from its footprint. While that’s very hard to measure, it remains a worthwhile goal.
The company itself provides drilling services and the fact that it is expected to double is a reflection of demand therefore. Demand is going to drive share prices most in 2024 but it isn’t the only thing to understand about Precision Drilling.
The company continues to reduce its debt as an overarching organizational goal. In 2023, the company reduced total debt by $152 million. That has served to reduce its net debt to EBITDA ratio to 1.5. By 2025, the company expects to bring that ratio to one.
Diamondback Energy (FANG)
Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG) is one of the better-known energy stocks on this list. It’s very well established and currently has a price of around $155 per share.
The high analyst target price of $240 suggests that FANG shares will have a difficult time doubling. However, Diamondback Energy does pay a fixed plus variable dividend that offers a lot of upside in the best of times. If share prices rise toward $240, the company will be doing well. That implies that the company will also be increasing its variable dividend at that time. Thus, a doubling of share prices is not out of the realm of possibility by any means.
There’s other good news about the company aside from potential price upside. In the third quarter, oil and total production were both at the high end of guidance ranges. The company expects both of those metrics to increase in the fourth quarter with earnings due in early February.
While it remains true that 2023 was a tough year for energy stocks, Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) did very well overall. Margins reached their highest level in the past decade. Revenues increased by 13%, reaching $23 billion. 2023 operating income reached $4.1 billion which was a substantial increase from the $2.7 billion Halliburton reported a year earlier.
Halliburton provides products and services that are used in the exploration and production industry. Thus, when production is expected to rise Halliburton tends to do well. CEO Jeff Miller expects the demand for oilfield services to remain strong throughout 2024.
Riley Exploration Permian (REPX)
Riley Exploration Permian (NYSEAMERICAN:REPX) focuses on high-growth exploration in the Permian Basin. So, it should surprise no one that it could see significant upside. The stock only has coverage by one analyst but that analyst gives it a target price of $50. It currently trades for $22.
In addition, its sales increased from $241 million to $273 million in the first nine months of 2023. Meanwhile, per barrel oil prices fell from $97 to $75. The company made up the difference by increasing production by roughly 80%.
With GeoPark (NYSE:GPRK), the consensus view is that GeoPark Limited shares should grow by roughly 70% but the top end suggests the potential to double and more.
The company is an independent E&P firm that develops assets throughout South America. It drilled 48 wells in 2023 with a 75% success rate. Production increased by 10% during the fourth quarter with further gains expected.
At the moment, the stock yields 6.16%. It has. also provided $30 million in dividend payments while also buying back $31.2 million worth of shares. The company expects to drill between 12 to 14 additional wells in the first quarter which promises to further increase its value.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (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.