5 Natural Gas Stock Picks

Although natural gas is everyone’s favorite commodity to hate, its recent tear during this sweltering summer has investors taking yet another look at this volatile fossil fuel. Today’s current low prices combined with technological advancement with fracking and a need to ween ourselves off of crude oil, present an intriguing opportunity for the future of natural gas. For those who have a bullish outlook on natural gas prices and the natural gas industry, we outline five of the natural gas stocks picks [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter]

Statoil ASA (STO)

Quick Stats as of (10/26/2012)

  • Market Cap: $78.1 billion
  • EPS: 4.25
  • Avg Vol: 986,000
  • Beta: 1.5

This energy giant is one of the largest and most popular firms in the industry. Domiciled in Norway, Statoil has its hands in several aspects of the energy space, including the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas, as well as natural gas liquids. As of December 31, 2011, the company had proven reserves of 3,150 billion cubic meters of natural gas. While STO has regained some of its losses from its steep tumble in 2008, the stock is down nearly 6% of the trailing one year period. STO’s dividend yield of 3.7% may, however, entice some investors who have the stomach to endure natural gas’ volatility.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC)

Quick Stats as of (10/26/2012)

  • Market Cap: $33.2 billion
  • EPS: -2.71
  • Avg Vol: 3.5 million
  • Beta: 2.14

This Texas-based firm was founded in 1959, and since then has grown to be a major player in the natural gas space. With a market cap over $33 billion and shares exchanging hands 3.5 million times a day, APC certainly holds its ground, but its EPS at -2.71 may have some investors heading for the hills. Despite this, APC has been able to gain significant ground after plummeting in both 2008 and 2010, reaching its all-time high of $84.12 in February of this year [see also How Well Does UNG Track Natural Gas?].

Apache Corp. (APA)

Quick Stats as of (10/26/2012)

  • Market Cap: $32.2 billion
  • EPS: 8.30
  • Avg Vol: 2.58 million
  • Beta: 1.63

With a total market cap of over $32 billion, APA is another top pick among investors looking to add natural gas exposure to their portfolios. And as is the trend thus far, APA is also domiciled in Texas. At the end of 2011, Apache Corp had proven reserves of natural gas amounting to a whopping 9.7 trillion cubic feet. And while the stock has also seen double digit losses this year, APA’s EPS of 8.30 is one of the highest in the natural gas industry.

EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG)

Quick Stats as of (10/26/2012)

  • Market Cap: $30.6 billion
  • EPS: 5.13
  • Avg Vol: 1.7 million
  • Beta: 1.36

Another Texas firm, EOG Resources’ crude oil and natural gas operations span across the United States, Canada, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, China, and Argentina. EOG is one of the handful of natural gas firms that has managed to stay out of the red over the last year. Over the trailing one-year period, EOG has surged 21.33%, and is currently up 8.93% year-to-date [see also For Day Traders: The Most Liquid ETF for Every Commodity].

Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE)

Quick Stats as of (10/26/2012)

  • Market Cap: $26.3 billion
  • EPS: 2.14
  • Avg Vol: 839,000
  • Beta: 1.25

This Canadian company focuses on the development, production, and marketing of natural gas in Canada and refining operations in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, Cenovus had approximately 5.3 million net acres dedicated to its crude oil and natural gas production in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. Cenovus Energy is relatively young firm, and since becoming publicly-traded, it has surged nearly 35% and has grown to be a nearly $26 billion company.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

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