Everyone likes the oils when they are hot and running. No one likes them when they are cold and sliding. Everyone likes them when the oil futures go up and up and up. No one likes them when the futures are in a downtrend even with brief blips up such as we have today. And no one is paying any attention at all to the pathetic natural gas price, except at $4 dollars today after being mired in the $3 region for ages, it's not pathetic at all.
So I say if you don't own any oils, this is the time to start picking. First I like to return to the best of the best, and in this case, we have two that are ripe for the pickings: Noble Energy (NBL) and EOG Resources (EOG). Noble is the dominant player in the Niobrara outside of Denver with a huge natural gas kicker in the Mediterranean. I don't know if you are following what's going on in Russia and the Ukraine right now, but President Putin is making a power grab that could position him as the ultimate threat to Western Europe. When you hear that, you need to think about energy because the west gets is natural gas from the east, and that makes Russia an economic opponent that could choke Western Europe at will.
The solution? Noble's Leviathan field off the coast of Israel. It's big enough to feed all of Europe. It is the energy alternative to Putin, and it has only gone up in value these past few weeks even as the stock's gone down precipitously from $78 to $69. My charitable trust has been picking on the pullback. I think you should be doing so, too.
EOG, the dominant player in the Eagle Ford and the Bakken, has plummeted from $188 to $165. Do you want to buy this thing when it's flying, or do you want to actually get a decent price for the stock?
When it comes to oil and oil service, my charitable trust is buying a little National Oilwell Varco (NOV), which is splitting into two companies and remains the technological leader in drilling rigs. You know I love these break-up stories.
I also think that we are only a little more than a month away from the closing of the Linn Energy (LINE)-Berry Petroleum (BRY) deal and that the SEC issues are in the rearview mirror. Meanwhile, you keep getting paid that juicy 9.6% yield. Linn has got a ton of natural gas, too, and as it goes higher so should Linn.
OK, so maybe these are all too out there for you. How about buying the world's largest oil company, the one that Warren Buffett likes, the one that refuses to come in even today? ExxonMobil (XOM). This company reported its first real good production growth quarter in ages, and I can make a solid case that things will only get better in the future.
Finally, one more that makes a ton of sense: BP (BP). The rap against BP was that the Macondo claims could bankrupt the company because there seemed to be no cessation to the gigantic payouts to what seemed like some real -- how do I put this? -- peripheral victims.
BP just won an incredibly important appeal that has pretty much put an end to the errant outsized payments. Now it will be viewed once again as an oil company, and it's a darned good one, cheapest of the majors.
With oil, you have to buy the stocks when they are cold. These are cold as ice.
Just the right time to start your picking.