What's Next For Oil?

Adam Fischbaum's picture

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 2:30pm

by Adam Fischbaum

One of my favorite TV shows of the '80s was "The A-Team." While short on being highbrow entertainment, the show was long on stuff blowing up and catchphrases. While Mr. T's "Fool!" was the fan favorite, I was always partial to the cigar chomping Colonel Hannibal Smith's "I love it when a plan comes together." If he had been long in oil in mid-March, he'd be breaking out the stogies.

Two months ago, I published an article profiling oil and where it was going. It came in right on target.

After a big move in a short time is the run done? Not yet.

Let me add a caveat to that. While the upside in the actual black, dead dinosaur and plant matter stuff may be limited, a lot of oil-related stocks have not participated in the move for one reason or another.

Here are some that make sense and are trading at attractive levels.

Enbridge Energy Partners LP (NYSE: EEP) -- Focusing on petroleum liquids gathering, transportation and storage.While the unit price took a painful 27% hit after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's tax policy ruling regarding master limited partnerships (MLP's), analysts are confident that Enbridge can cover its distribution which currently hovers around 15%. Units are also trading at a 48% discount to their 52-week high. That's an attractive price for a business sporting EBITDA (earnings before interest depreciation amortization) margins of 62%.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) -- For more conservative investors, shares of this blue chip, integrated oiler are a timely bargain. Trading at a nearly 10% discount to their 52-week high, forecasts call for the company to grow revenues and earnings per share (EPS) by a solid 25% over the next three years. While the stock has moved up 9% since oil's March breakout, XOM shares have lagged crude's rise by 40% indicating more room for the stock to rise.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: BWP) -- While not directly tied to the price of oil due to its focus on the natural gas sector, Boardwalk does fall into the energy column. While the company's revenue and EPS growth is lackluster and the yield (3.27%) is way below that of a typical energy MLP, the idea behind owning Boardwalk units is the deep discount of the actual assets of the company. The stock trades at just 50 cents on the dollar to the stated book value of the company and, as the company's wheelhouse is storage and movement of natural gas and natural gas liquids (a now booming U.S. export business), real value will be unlocked. It's just a matter of time.

Risks To Consider: The biggest macro risk is oil pulling back. If crude gives up its gains, expect most oil related stocks to get punished. So, while they underperformed during crude run-up, insult will be added to injury by throwing the baby out with the bath water.

However, these three names have some defense against that happening. EEP and BWP are already deeply discounted. Often, much of the pricing risk has been removed in such situations. XOM is a huge, widely held, multinational blue-chip name. Its franchise status and market liquidity.

Action To Take: Held together at equal weights, this basket would throw off an attractive blended yield of 7.63%. Calling the price upside is a little trickier. Looking at each separately, BWP could be poised for a 30% move or better bringing the price of the stock to $13.27 is the book value moves from 0.50 to 0.65. EEP could see a total return of 25% by combining a small move in the unit price with the outsized distribution. Being a market leader, XOM's movements would most likely track that of the broader market.

Adam Fischbaum does not personally hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.
StreetAuthority LLC does not hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.