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4 Oil Stocks to Buy Despite Doha Disappointment

A much-vaunted meeting between major oil producing countries in Doha failed to produce favorable results on Sunday. The meeting, held with the aim of reaching a production freeze agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries, was a failure primarily due to Iran’s decision not to attend. Oil prices took a near-immediate hit and fears heightened that the turnaround in progress may be hampered.

However, the threat of another descent for oil prices may have been blown out of proportion given that production, especially from non-OPEC members, has been declining. This is why it makes perfect sense to pick up stocks with strong fundamentals despite the disappointment encountered in Doha.  

Near-Term Production Freeze Unlikely

Hopes of an agreement on a production freeze received a severe setback from Iran’s last minute decision not to attend the meeting. Prices had increased over the last few weeks on hopes that a deal on freezing production may be reached at Doha. Conflicting signals had emerged from Saudi Arabia on Saturday about whether it would be willing to conclude an agreement which excluded Iran.

Earlier in the month, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had said the country will agree to a production freeze only if Iran agrees to do the same. Ultimately, Saudi Arabia stuck to its position leading to a breakdown in discussions. The timing of another meeting remains unclear at this point.  

Non-OPEC Output Falling

The outcome of the meeting led to an immediate fall in oil prices, which have recovered somewhat since then and is continuing to hover around the $40 level. Last Thursday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) had said that any production freeze deal in the Doha meeting might not “impact the global supply-demand balance.” The IEA also said that “if there is to be a production freeze, rather than a cut, the impact on physical oil supplies will be limited."

On the other hand, non-OPEC oil supply continues to decline, borne out by the fall in U.S. output. On Monday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecast that oil production in seven major shale-drilling regions in the U.S. may decline in May.

The EIA expects production to decline by 114,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 4.950 million bpd in April to 4.836 million bpd in May. Moreover, on Friday, Baker Hughes BHI reported that the U.S. oil rig count declined for the fourth straight week from 354 to 351, its lowest level since Nov 2009.

Our Choices

Declining non-OPEC output and lack of importance which several agencies and analysts are attaching to a production freeze agreement undermines the impact of the outcome of the meeting at Doha. This indicates that oil prices are unlikely to lapse into another steep decline once again.

This is why the sector still offers stocks which can make for good additions to your portfolio. However, it is important to focus on company fundamentals and its inherent strengths. Additionally, it may be difficult to pick winning stocks.  

This is where our VGM score comes in. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum and the score is a weighted combination of these three scores. Such a score allows you to eliminate the negative aspects of stocks and select winners. However, it is important to keep in mind that each Style Score will carry a different weight while arriving at a VGM score. 

We have narrowed down our search to the following stocks based on a good Zacks Rank and VGM score.

Transocean Partners LLC RIGP owns, operates and acquires offshore drilling rigs

Transocean Partners has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a VGM Score of B. The company has expected earnings growth of 21.9% for the current year. The forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for the current financial year (F1) is 5.16, lower than the industry average of 26.53. Its earnings estimate for the current year has improved by 15.7% over the last 30 days.

World Point Terminals, LP WPT is an owner, operator, developer and acquirer of terminals and other assets relating to the storage of light refined products, heavy refined products and crude oil.

World Point Terminals has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of B. The company has expected earnings growth of 10.5% for the current year. It has a P/E (F1) of 14.14, which is lower than the industry average of 45.15. Its earnings estimate for the current year has improved by 8.3% over the last 30 days.

OMV Aktiengesellschaft OMVJF is an integrated oil and gas company, headquarted in Vienna.

OMV has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of B.  The company has expected earnings growth of more than 100% for the current year. It has a P/E (F1) of 15.27, which is lower than the industry average of 26.60. Its earnings estimate for the current year has improved by 23.6% over the last 30 days.

Murphy USA Inc. MUSA is a retailer of gasoline products and convenience store merchandise primarily in the U.S.

Murphy USA has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a VGM Score of B. The company has expected earnings growth of 37.6% for the current year. It has a P/E (F1) of 13.77, in line with the industry average. Its earnings estimate for the current year has improved by 6.9% over the last 30 days.

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MURPHY USA INC (MUSA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BAKER-HUGHES (BHI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TRANSOCEAN PTN (RIGP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
OMV AG ADS (OMVJF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
WORLD POINT TER (WPT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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