Everyone loves something shiny, and these gold stocks are treasure when it comes to hedging your bets.
Saudi Arabian Oil, commonly known as Saudi Aramco, is a Saudi-based, state-controlled oil behemoth. The oil group made history in 2Q2022 when it posted the biggest quarterly profit of any listed company globally. Saudi Aramco took home a whopping $48.4bn in net income that quarter, up from $25.5bn a year earlier. In the first half, the oil company pulled in net income of $39.5bn, leading to a total of nearly $88bn in profits for the first half of 2022 as the world’s biggest oil exporter capitalized on soaring energy prices driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The group is a strong rival to Apple for the world’s most valuable company.
Exxon Mobil is a major US oil company that enjoyed a windfall of profits in the first six months of 2022 when inflation-fueled energy prices ripped through economies. The Texas-based oil company notched bumper quarterly results for the trimester ended June 2022 - $17.9bn in net profit. The board may have skipped its victory lap, though, following an activist investor spat during the Covid-19 lockdown. America’s most valuable oil company at $383bn was dealt a historic blow when Engine No. 1, an upstart hedge fund with just a $50mn fraction of stock, forced its way on three board seats in a push toward a future free of fossil fuel.
Chevron, America’s second-biggest oil company by revenue, traces its origins back to the 1870s when it spawned from Rockefeller-run Standard Oil, the world’s biggest oil company back in its day. Now, Chevron is proudly standing tall alongside other oil supermajors, reaping the benefits of record-high inflation. We’re talking huge earnings and smashed profit records as Chevron picked up $11.6bn in second-quarter net income in 2022. Amid stubborn geopolitical tensions, demand for oil jumped, anointing Chevron with an influx of fresh capital. The oil group sits at a roughly $300bn valuation with a stock up 20% in the first nine months of 2022.
Shell is not falling behind on the cash bonanza as Big Oil is having a monthslong field day thanks to a global-scale energy flow disruption. The U.K.-based company reported adjusted earnings of $11.5bn for the 2022’s second three months – eclipsing the $9.1bn wolfed down in the first quarter. Royal Dutch Shell, or just Shell from January 2022, is Europe’s largest oil company. Its history leads us to 1833 when Marcus Samuel, an antique seller, expanded into oriental seashells. Samuel was succeeded by his two sons. In the 1880s they started shipping oil with a company named Shell. In 1903, Shell merged with smaller rival Royal Dutch.
France-based TotalEnergies counts among the top five Western oil supermajors along with Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP. The energy giant, valued at $140bn, showered itself with cash in the first half of 2022. Blockbuster net profits in the second quarter hit $8.9bn, almost tripling from the year-ago quarter. Compared with oil’s soaring prices, the group’s stock has been fairly muted, up about 10% from January through September 2022. In late August 2022, TotalEnergies sold its stake in a Russian natural-gas joint venture as part of a strategy that sought to gradually phase out the company from any Russia-linked businesses.
ConocoPhillips is a small but mighty rival in the Big Oil field. The Houston-based energy company flexed adjusted earnings of $5.1bn for the second three months of 2022, topping analyst estimates. In September 2021, ConocoPhillips found itself at the heart of the US shale industry after Shell agreed to sell its business in the prolific Permian Basin – America’s largest oilfield – in a $9.5bn all-cash deal. The acquisition placed the oil group within striking distance of leader Exxon Mobil in terms of oil and gas production in the Lower 48 US states. ConocoPhillips was formed in 2002 via a merger between Conoco and Phillips Petroleum.
Norway-based, state-backed energy company Equinor was among the beneficiaries in the Russia-Ukraine turmoil that fueled the energy market, sending crude oil prices to levels above $130 a barrel in March 2022. In the three months to end June, the Norwegian group reported stellar performance with adjusted pre-tax earnings of $17.6bn, soaring past the $4.64bn reported in the same period a year ago. Amid the global energy squeeze, Equinor has added more than $30bn to its valuation from January through September 2022, to sit on roughly $100bn in market cap. The oil group is the second-biggest supplier of piped gas to Europe after Russia.
London-based BP is an energy major with a market cap north of $90bn. BP benefited from the rise in oil demand and logged back-to-back bumper quarters in the first half of 2022. It posted second-quarter net profit of $8.5bn, shattering its previous quarterly performance and then-record of $6.2bn. In June of 2022, BP went on a wild dealmaking spree as it sold its stake in the Canadian oil sands to Calgary-based Cenovus Energy for $1bn. Two days later, it acquired a 40% stake in Asian Renewable Energy Hub – a wind and green hydrogen project in Western Australia. Amid soaring oil prices in 2022, its stock has been fairly muted.
Marathon Petroleum has been among the biggest winners in the breakneck rally in energy markets. As oil companies were banking on production and delivery squeezes, Marathon Petroleum’s stock was an investors’ darling with share price skyrocketing more than 50% from January through September 2022. In value-speak, about $25bn was added to the group’s market cap. The Ohio-based group is America’s biggest oil refiner right after Motiva Enterprises. Despite its shares rising, Marathon’s recent quarterly figures were largely a non-event: first-quarter net income in 2022 arrived at $845mn, while second-quarter net income landed at $5.9bn.
Phillips 66, a Houston-based energy company, has been around since 1927 and today boasts a market valuation of around $50bn. The energy group deals primarily in refining and transporting natural gas liquids (NGL) petrochemicals. Shares of the NYSE-listed company saw modest gains of about 7% in the first nine months of 2022 amid red-hot oil and energy markets. In quarterly results, Phillips 66 earned $3.2bn in the three months ended June, nearly five times its first-quarter earnings of $595mn. The company went through a merger with Conoco in 2002 to form ConocoPhillips, but it continued certain operations under the Phillips 66 brand.