However you feel about “fracking” shale formations for natural gas and shale oil, it’s undeniable that this trend is a huge part of the American economy.
That means finding the best oil stocks and natural gas stocks now could pay big dividends to your portfolio. Because fracking stocks are soaring thanks to the growth of this corner of the energy market.
Consider the states with the lowest unemployment numbers are North Dakota and South Dakota — both have jobless rates under 4%, roughly half the national average.
And the International Energy Agency recently estimated that by 2015, the United States will be the world’s largest energy producer — eclipsing Saudi Arabia thanks to shale oil and gas production from fracking stocks.
Amid the American energy boom, there are a select group of home-grown oil stocks that have seen a big run in the last year or so and may continue to prosper handsomely in the years ahead.
5 Fracking Stocks to Buy Now
C&J Energy Services (CJES) is a $1 billion-plus energy service company that has tapped into the shale boom big-time. This company provides hydraulic fracturing gear and services, meaning that while it doesn’t own the actual fossil fuel, it is a key part of the extraction process. Some on Wall Street thought the boom in CJES stock was over as profits and revenue flatten out, but the company is up 26% in the past six months.
USA Compression Partners (USAC) is another key player in fracking for shale oil and gas, leasing out equipment to key operations around the U.S. The company went public in January 2013 and has run up 40% with a seemingly non-stop climb ever since. While critics point to a pretty high forward P/E ratio of 26, the company is quickly growing into that earnings multiple.
Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) is a $25 billion oil and gas exploration company, with principle operations in Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Alaska. Shares are up 70% so far in 2013 thanks to forecasts of more than 300% earnings growth and revenue that continues to chug higher. Although the forward P/E is a bit rich for PXD, too, with a valuation of 32 times those lofty 2014 earnings expectations, the growth continues for this energy player.
U.S. Silica Holdings (SLCA) is one of the highest-flying fracking plays, doubling since January. For those unfamiliar with the process of fracking, the process involves injecting pressurized water, sand and chemicals into shale to fracture it. SLCA is one of the biggest suppliers of the specialty sand, or silica, used in fracking. Sales have increased quarter-over-quarter for eight consecutive periods, and this oil stock is showing no signs of slowing down.
Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) focuses on exploration and development of crude and natural gas fields in the U.S., particularly the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, the Eagle Ford formation is Texas and the Marmaton oil field in Oklahoma. At $14 billion in size, COG is a fracking stock of scale but still one small enough to see big revenue growth. The stock is up 35% YTD in 2013, thanks to revenues set to grow 45% this year and forecasts for another 40% growth the following year.
More on Fracking Stocks
- Jon Ogg offers six oil stocks and fracking stocks of his own. (24/7 Wall St.)
- Matt Nesto has five energy picks of his own. (Breakout via Yahoo Finance)
- The U.S. will become the world’s top energy producer by 2015. (CNN Money)
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.