Insider Buying Boosts Occidental

09/23/2019 5:00 am EST


Mark Skousen

Editor, Forecasts & Strategies, TNT Trader

Based in Houston, Texas, Occidental Peroleum (OXY) is one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, observes growth and income expert Mark Skousen, editor of High-Income Alert.

Its core operations are in the Permian Basin in Western Texas and Southeast New Mexico and it is the largest producer in those regions.

But in every region where it operates, Occidental focuses on long-lived assets as the company can increase production by applying new forms of technology and advanced reservoir management practices.

In addition to using advanced techniques to extend the life of its fields and extract some of the hardest-to-recover reserves, Occidental also explores targeted areas for untapped reservoirs and makes strategic acquisitions.

The company has complementary midstream operations and a world-class chemical business, too. Of course, the oil patch has experienced tough times over the last few years, as the price of both oil and gas plunged.

Energy stocks reacted strongly to the coordinated strikes on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities, as higher prices and relatively fixed costs will create a sharp upturn in profits.

Even so, the stock is still breathtakingly cheap at less than 10 times earnings and 1.7 times book value. You’ll also collect a 7% dividend here. That yield is nothing to sniff at in today’s ultra-low interest rate environment.

Occidental President Vicki Hollub recently bought $1.8 million worth of shares at $48.15. Eleven other insiders also picked up shares in the last three months, with those purchases totaling more than $4 million. There have been no insider sales over the period.

Bear in mind, Occidental is financially solid. Despite rough times in the sector over the last few years -- a period where many of its competitors suspended their dividends or even filed for bankruptcy — Occidental has increased its dividend steadily and is currently sitting on $1.75 billion in cash.

I estimate that Occidental will earn $2.91 a share this year and nearly $5.00 a share in 2020. That means that the dividend and the stock are heading higher.

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