3 Oil Stocks to Offload as the New Year Begins

Stocks to sell

Green energy has gained much traction in the past few decades, and big oil is taking the hit. The historic United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP28, had just penned a deal that commits to transitioning away from fossil fuels and focusing on renewable energy sources. More than half of the 200 attending countries, including the biggest oil producers in the UAE, have agreed to “phase down” or “phase out” oil production. Fossil fuel players are feeling the pressure, and now might be a good time to look at oil stocks to avoid.

Let’s take a look at three of the most susceptible stocks. These individual oil companies are already grappling with financial pressures. The shift in the macroeconomic environment won’t help matters at all, and analysts are growing increasingly bearish with these selections – if their “Hold” and “Sell” recommendations are any indication. So, let’s look at these three oil stocks to add to your “sell” list.

Dril-Quip (DRQ)

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Oil drilling equipment companies, such as Dril-Quip (NYSE:DRQ), will feel the sting of the shift away from fossil fuels. Dril-Quip provides onshore and offshore oil drilling sites with everything they might need for continuous operations. The company has a semi-diversified range of products and services, including wellheads, sea-to-surface connection equipment and existing well reworks. Dril-Quip also handles completion orders (preparing oil wells for production after digging operations) and has products like linger hangers and casing hardware for secure product delivery to the surface.

On the surface, Dril-Quip’s latest financials look great. Revenue actually grew 33% YoY to $117.2 million. However, the company suffered from ballooning expenses across the board, which significantly affected its bottom line – the quarter ended at a $7.03 million loss compared to a $13.3 million profit from last year.

Analysts had hoped that Dril-Quip would turn a profit during the last two quarters. Instead, reported EPS fell below estimates by -175% and -287.5%, respectively. The company also doesn’t pay out dividends. Looming changes in the oil market and its current financial struggles make DRQ an increasingly bearish company and one of the prospective oil stocks to avoid.

RPC (RES)

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RPC (NYSE:RES) is another oil and gas service company that could potentially be on the chopping block. It’s a holding company with interests across the fossil fuel industry, covering technical and support services. RSE operates through various subsidiaries, like Cudd Energy Services, Cudd Pressure Control (exploration and production), Patterson Services (tubing, flow control, snubbing stacks and accessories) and Thru Tubing Solutions (downhole and drilling). Due to the company’s total exposure to the oil and gas industry, any negative effect can significantly affect its top and bottom line. Unfortunately, the latest quarterly report shows this effect in no uncertain terms.

Total revenue is down from $459.6 million to $330.4 million YoY. Meanwhile, operating profit from technical services slid from $89.5 million to $18.9 million. Support services fared a little better, growing from $5.3 million to $6.9 million, but this is a drop in the proverbial bucket – unfortunately, it’s not enough. Income before taxes ended at $24.9 million, a significant decline from $92.2 million in the same period last year. RES also failed to meet EPS expectations by 66.67%.

The decreasing U.S. rig count and an 11.5% YoY decrease in oil price also affected RPC’s operations, and it looks like things won’t get better any time soon. Analysts also appear to concur, recommending the company as a tentative “Hold”. That’s why we’re recommending RES as one of the oil stocks to avoid for now.

Cheniere Energy Partners LP (CQP) 

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Natural gas was considered one of the “bigger winners” at the COP28 conference. Most countries agreed it would serve as a bridge between oil and renewables. Companies like Cheniere Energy Partners LP (NYSE:CQP) can be prospective winners here. CQP is an oil production and pipeline company that supplies liquefied natural gas to different energy companies. It also offers the development and construction of natural gas liquefaction and regasification facilities and constructs and operates liquefied natural gas pipelines.

However, there are two things that we don’t like about Cheniere Energy Partners’ current position. First, yes, quarterly earnings did beat estimates by 13.21%. However, overall revenue was cut by more than half YoY, from $4.98 billion to $2.13 billion. While it’s commendable that the company eked out profitability by lowering expenses, this deep revenue slide doesn’t incite much confidence for the future.

Secondly, CQP recently hit a new 52-week high, but prices immediately fell as sellers let go of the oil stock. As of time of writing, the stock is down by around 18% from the 52-week high of $62.34. Short- to mid-term prospects look grim, and COP28 decisions won’t bear fruit for a few more years. As of now, we recommend CQP as one of the potential oil stocks to avoid.

On the date of publication, Rick Orford did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

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