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4 Energy Stocks to Reap Oil's Recent Rally

Zacks Equity Research
Oil prices are well positioned for further uptick owing to macroeconomic headwinds.

Oil’s recent rally was reflected in U.S. equity markets as stocks gained for the fourth trading session on Jan 9. Developments in macroeconomic issues drifted in investor-anticipated direction, building hopes of a positive movement in oil prices in the near future.

Therefore, this might be the right time to invest in a few energy stocks to get the most out of the oil price surge.

Why are Oil Prices Gaining?

Oil prices have been gaining steadily for the past two weeks, prompted by optimism around U.S.-China trade talks and hopes of an affirmative solution that may conclude the tariff war. A drop in U.S. inventories coupled with supply cuts to the United States from Saudi Arabia helped oil prices step up as well.

Brent crude oil price gained 2.72% on Jan 9 and closed at $61.44. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 2.58% and closed at $52.36 on the same day.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts Brent Crude prices to hit $70 a barrel and WTI Crude to reach $59 a barrel in 2019.

According to Fidelity Global Special Situations fund manager Jeremy Podger, "The oil price could surprise markets by remaining strong, or even rising further, either due to Middle Eastern issues (particularly around Iran) or, more happily, due to strong global demand. At this stage we are keeping a higher than average weight in the energy sector.”

Supply Cuts and Macroeconomic Factors Boost Oil

A weekly report released on Jan 9 by Energy Information Administration (EIA) cited declining U.S. crude oil inventories last week. Crude oil inventories decreased by 1.68 million barrels in the week ended Jan 4 against consensus estimates of 2.4 million barrels stockpile draw, following a 0.007 million-barrel gain.

Gasoline inventories rose by 8.07 million barrels against an expected gain of 3.39 million barrels, the report stated. Stockpiles of distillates rose by 10.61 million barrels against forecasts of a gain of 1.89 million barrels.

The decline in U.S. crude oil inventories was mostly triggered by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The possibility of further supply cuts to extend the oil price rally resulted in oil’s straight gain for eight sessions.

Some progress, however little, on U.S.-China trade talks this week increased oil prices, although there’s still enough room for a meaningful deal between the world’s two largest economies.

A positive trade deal between the United States and China could cease China’s economic slowdown, thus increasing the Asian nation’s demand for crude oil. The scenario could boost oil prices further.

4 Energy Companies Set to Benefit From Oil Price Uptick

We have hand-picked four energy stocks that could make the most of the oil price rally in the near future, driven by their nature of operations in the Oil and Energy sector.

Approach Resources Inc. AREX is an independent energy company that acquires, explores, develops and produces oil and gas in the United States. The company carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has advanced 30% over the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Approach Resources’ shares gained 34.48% on a year-to-date basis against the S&P 500’s increase of 3.12%.

CNX Resources Corporation. CNX is an independent oil and gas company that explores and produces oil and gas in the Appalachian Basin. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has advanced 11.2% over the past 60 days. CNX Resources’ shares have gained 10.77% on a year-to-date basis.

Gulfport Energy Corporation GPOR engages in exploration, development and production of natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil in the United States. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has advanced 2.9% over the past 60 days. Gulfport Energy’s shares have added 21.37% on a year-to-date basis.

Panhandle Royalty Company PHX engages in acquisition, development and management of natural gas and oil properties in the United States. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has advanced 33.3% over the past 60 days. Panhandle Royalty’s shares have gained 5.42% on a year-to-date basis.

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