BofA warns oil could hit $100 this winter and spur crisis — protect yourself this way

 BofA warns oil could hit $100 this winter and spur crisis — protect yourself this way

BofA warns oil could hit $100 this winter and spur crisis — protect yourself this way

BofA warns oil could hit $100 this winter and spur crisis — protect yourself this way

The worldwide energy crunch could push oil prices above $100 a barrel for the first time in years and trigger a global economic crisis, Bank of America warned on Friday.

“[O]il prices could spike and lead to a second round of inflationary pressures around the world,” analysts including Francisco Blanch wrote in a note. “Put differently, we may just be one storm away from the next macro hurricane.”

Of course, one of the best ways to defend your portfolio against rising oil prices is to invest in oil stocks. Despite the surge in energy prices, some big dividend-doling oil producers continue to offer yields in excess of 5%.

It might be worth nailing them down now before oil prices really take off — possibly with some of your spare change.

ExxonMobil (XOM)

ExxonMobil gas station

Tdorante10 / Wikimedia Commons

While many big energy companies are steadily moving towards renewables, Exxon is committed to oil and gas, providing investors with a relatively pure way to jump into the space.

Although Exxon isn’t likely to win favor from socially and environmentally conscious investors anytime soon, there’s a good chance that management’s commitment to fossil fuels proves to be the less risky approach for shareholders.

In Q2, for instance, Exxon earned $4.7 billion in profits on revenue of $67.7 billion thanks to significant recovery in demand. And in a Securities and Exchange filing late this week, Exxon said oil will likely boost its Q3 earnings by $700 million to $1.5 billion.

“We’re realizing significant benefits from an improved cost structure, solid operating performance and low-cost-of-supply investments that, together, are generating attractive returns and strong cash flow to fund our capital program, pay the dividend and reduce debt,” said Chairman and CEO Darren Woods.

With the stock still off 6% from its 52-week highs and offering an especially fat dividend yield of 5.9%, it might be time to ride that operating momentum with some extra cash.

Chevron (CVX)

Chevron gas station

Ben P L / Wikimedia Commons

Chevron is another oil-leveraged behemoth that income investors might want to consider.

While the company hasn’t invested much capital in renewable sources of energy, Chevron’s significant position in the attractive Permian Basin and impressive free cash flow generation should give investors plenty of reasons to be bullish about.

In the most recent quarter, Chevron produced earnings of $3.1 billion on revenue of $36 billion. Meanwhile, free cash flow clocked in at multiyear high of $5.2 billion.

Management cited improved market conditions and merger synergies for the strong results.

“Our free cash flow was the highest in two years due to solid operational and financial performance and lower capital spending,” Chairman and CEO Mike Wirth said. “We will resume share repurchases in the third quarter at an expected rate of $2-3 billion per year.”

Chevron shares are off 8% from their 52-week highs and currently provide a dividend yield of 5.3%, giving dividend value investors something to think about.

To be sure, Chevron trades at more than $100 per share. But you can get a piece of Chevron using a popular stock trading app that allows you to buy fractions of shares with as much money as you’re willing to spend.

BP (BP)

BP gas station

Dirtyharry667/ Wikimedia Commons

For investors looking for a big energy stock that’s a bit more on the progressive side, BP might be the answer.

Management’s plans to reduce hydrocarbon production by 25% by 2025 and 40% by 2030 is easily the most aggressive transition toward renewables among the major oil companies. That could put BP in a stronger competitive position than its industry peers over time.

And the best part? BP’s swift move away from oil investments doesn’t seem to be impacting its near-term results too negatively.

In the most recent quarter, the company earned $2.8 billion while generating $5.4 billion in operating cash flow. BP even increased the dividend 4% while starting a share buyback of $1.4 billion with surplus cash flow from the first half.

“We are a year into executing bp’s strategy to become an integrated energy company and are making good progress — delivering another quarter of strong performance while investing for the future in a disciplined way,” said CEO Bernard Looney.

BP shares down 3% from their 52-week highs and offer a dividend yield of 4.8%.

How to buy these big oil stocks

Close up on hands holding cell phone and stacking change

natakorenikha16 / Twenty20

You don’t need to be an oil tycoon to start investing in these big energy stocks.

If you’re working with a smaller budget, you may want to use an investing app that allows you to buy “slices” of shares for large oil companies — especially one that comes with no fees or commissions.

And if you’re still on the fence about jumping in, some investing apps will even give you a free share of Exxon, Chevron, or BP just for signing up.

Another low-budget option is using an app that allows you to invest with just your “spare change,”.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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