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Investing Topics: Integrated Oil Companies

Upstream Takeover Targets

Some of the biggest winners from mergers and acquisitions activity in the US upstream space have been the acquirers. Deal flow will continue to focus on assets and private-equity outfits monetizing their investments. We prefer names with solid balance sheets and exposure to franchise assets with low production costs; these names will continue to take market share, outperform their and grow their inventories of potential drilling locations.

Big Time

Our favorite integrated oil companies’ bulletproof balance sheets are huge advantages in an environment where oil prices remain lower for longer. Big Oil has endured a great deal of criticism about massive capital expenditures and limited production growth, but unlike cash-strapped producers these companies have the wherewithal to address their shortcomings.

More CAPEX, More Problems: A Survey of Big Oil

When casual investors think of the energy stocks, one of the Seven Sisters—BP (NYSE: BP) NYSE: BP), Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX), Eni (NYSE: E), Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS B), Statoil (NYSE: STO) and Total (NYSE: TOT)—likely springs to mind.

But these Western energy giants have come in for a great deal of criticism over the past several years, as investors lose patience with the industry’s massive capital investments and limited production growth.

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    Experts

    • Roger S. Conrad

      Founder and Chief Analyst: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor

    • Elliott H. Gue

      Founder and Chief Analyst: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor

    • Peter Staas

      Managing Editor: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor