ConocoPhillips (COP) is a giant oil, gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) exploration and production firm based in Houston, Texas, observes Mike Larson, editor of Safe Money Report— and a participant in The Interactive MoneyShow Virtual Expo on March 22-24. Register here for free.

The stock now sports a market capitalization of $123 billion, operations in 14 countries on six continents and almost 1.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in output as of Dec. 31, 2021. Over the last several years, it expanded and reorganized its operation via a series of organic investments, acquisitions and divestitures.

That includes the 2021 $9.7 billion purchase of Concho Resources, the $400 million purchase of Alaskan assets from Anadarko in 2018 and the spinoff of its transport and refining operations into the separately traded Phillips 66 (PSX) in 2012.

Among its current operations and holdings are an interest in the Qatargas 3 LNG liquefaction and export project in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar ... exploration and production assets in the Greater Ekofisk Area off the Norwegian coast ... and substantial acreage in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian Basin production regions in the U.S.

Q4 results showed just what a powerhouse COP has become. The company pulled in profits of $2.6 billion, or $1.98 per share. That was a huge swing from the year-ago loss of $800 million, or 72 cents per share.

Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.27 beat analysts estimates by several cents. Revenue more than doubled to $15.96 billion from $6.05 billion. And the company announced a 30 cents per share variable payout for Q2 2022 on top of its regular quarterly dividend of 46 cents per share.

COP shares were range-bound from October 2021 to January 2022. But they broke out at the start of the year and have used their 50-day moving average as support, pushing higher since. That boosted COP's payout by 50% year over year.

The stock now sports an indicated yield of around 1.8%, and its rating has been upgraded three times since last summer — putting it firmly in “Buy” territory at “B.” With U.S. benchmark oil prices on the march, there’s every reason to believe those payouts and ratings have more upside.

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