Fund manager says oil is in a multi-year bull market – and names 3 stocks to cash in

Oil has been on quite a ride this year, as prices soared due to the Russia-Ukraine war — and then turned volatile. Global benchmark Brent came close to its all-time high of $147 in March , but crude prices since then have generally declined, weighed down by mounting concerns over a possible recession and U.S. dollar strength. Prices enjoyed a respite on Wednesday, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed to the deepest production cuts since early 2020 in an effort to spur a recovery in crude prices. While oil prices remain some ways off March’s highs, fund manager Eric Nuttall remains bullish. “I think we are in a multi-year bull market for oil that’s going to last at least six years,” Nuttall told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday. Stock picks Oil stocks have been a clear winner of this year’s market rout. The energy sector is the only positive sector on the S & P 500 this year and is up more than 50% so far this year. Nuttall, partner and senior portfolio manager at Ninepoint Partners, which manages more than $8 billion in assets, names three stock picks to play an oil rally. He likes Texas-based Diamondback Energy for its “17 years of drilling inventory” and 11% dividend for 2023. Canadian integrated energy firm Cenovus Energy also makes his list. The company has 30 years of oil reserves and has attractive free cashflow metrics, according to Nuttall. He believes the company will repurchase 10% of its stock and pay a 15% dividend in 2023. Rounding off the list is Canadian oil sands producer MEG energy . Nuttall said the company has 30 years of oil reserves and also has attractive free cashflow metrics. “With the ability to privatize with just over three years of free cashflow and the stated intent to use 100% of free cashflow towards buybacks later next year, we believe investors are getting $35 billion of undiscounted free cashflow for free,” Nuttall added. Why oil will be in a ‘multi-year bull market’ The portfolio manager expects demand to grow for at least the next 10 years. “But the real story is on supply,” he said. Read more Goldman Sachs raises crude price forecast after ‘OPEC+ takes on the West’ NYU’s ‘Dean of Valuation’ says these Big Tech stocks are a better bet than ‘traditional safe’ firms Is it time to buy the dip? These stocks look set for big upside, according to Wall Street Nuttall noted that U.S. shale has been propping up global supply “for the past 8 years,” with OPEC production unable to keep pace with strong demand. But these shale companies are now prioritizing dividends and buybacks as investors demand to be “compensated for the misery of investing in this space for the past decade,” he added. Meanwhile, Nuttall said OPEC had “largely exhausted” its spare capacity, with additional capacity likely to take years to come online. Meanwhile, traditional oil majors, such as ExxonMobil , Shell , BP , are “handcuffed by wokeness,” and have begun to focus on decarbonization, Nuttall said. “They take the high margin money that could have gone into traditional oil and gas and invest them in the crappiest business in the world, which is alternative energy projects, just to placate the minority of their shareholder base,” he added. Nuttall believes that mismatch between demand and supply growth going forward means oil prices have to go sufficiently high in the next two to three years to “kill” discretionary demand. That’s a tough ask, according to Nuttall, who estimates the global economy consumed 92 million barrels of oil a day at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic — a situation Nuttall described as “the worst economic environment possible.” He believes killing demand is “very, very tough” with a recovering global economy now adjusting to a pre-pandemic normal. “It’s that mismatch between supply growth and demand growth going forward, which is why I think we’re in a multi-year bull market for oil,” he said. Nuttall estimates West Texas Intermediate prices – the U.S. benchmark – will hit $100 a barrel by end of 2022, “irrespective of any regional recessions. That would rise to more than $150 a barrel in the next 2 years, he added. WTI was trading at around $87 early on Thursday, while Brent was around $93 a barrel.

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