Crude oil futures hit one-year highs on Wednesday, leading many to speculate that the rise toward the $150 all-time peak hit last spring is still in force. The move is a combination of two strong forces simultaneously at play: the weakness in the U.S. dollar and a recent increasing demand for fuel.
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Fears of the dollar spiraling lower (the U.S. Dollar Index also hit new lows this week) have pushed many investors into commodities like gold and oil, traditional investment "parking" spots when fears of a crisis arise. In addition, both OPEC and the International Energy Agency recently raised their demand forecast for 2010, citing progress in the ongoing global economic recovery.
Here are five oil plays that have consequently been gushing of late and should continue to do so if that move higher is indeed still on. (For a primer on the oil industry, refer to our Oil and Gas Industry Primer.)
Bakken Oil Players
Kodiak Oil & Gas Co. (NYSE:KOG) is an American exploration company with assets focused in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana, and the Green River Basin of Wyoming and Colorado. They also recently acquired 52,000 acres in the highly touted East Bakken oil basin. The company's stock has risen over 600% in the last six months and better than 1400% since its lows in March of this year.
Geokinetics Inc. (AMEX:GOK) is an oil services firm that provides seismic imaging and data analysis to oil and natural gas companies worldwide. Unlike many resource and resource-related companies, GOK actually trades at a fraction of sales (price/sales is 0.40) and at a mere 1.5x book value. The company's stock has appreciated by more than 400% in the last half year.
Over 1000% Rise in Just Six Months
Stone Energy (NYSE:SGY) stock is up over 1000% since bouncing off 52-week lows set back in March of this year. The company operates in two regions: Appalachia and the Gulf of Mexico. Just this week the company unexpectedly raised its production outlook and was rewarded with a positive response by the market.
Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE:MHR) and Hyperdynamics Corp. (AMEX:HDY) are both Texas-based exploration and production companies whose stock has risen significantly in the last two quarters.
There are a great many oil stocks that have been beneficiaries of this year's rise in the price of crude. Those with the best records are the ones with the best prospects and most capable management teams. For investors seeking to capitalize from a further price rise in crude, the above mentioned quintet is as good a place as any to start. (For additional reading, check out Understanding Oil Industry Terminology.)
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