By Carmen Jackson
Oil and gas investing begins with the investor determining what oil and gas stocks he should invest his hard earned cash into. While some will focus on oil and gas stocks which yield a higher return on investment opportunities like oil sands stocks and Canadian oil stocks, we feel that you should begin by reviewing the following key three factors:
1) Is the Oil Stock Over valued?
This is probably the first question you should ask yourself as a lot of oil stocks are more hype than actual value. A good indicator of an oil stocks value is the oil stocks price earnings ratio. If the price earnings ratio is greater than 20, we would suggest you further investigate why the oil stocks price earnings ratio is so high. If it is due to an aggressive growth strategy including a recent land acquisition or a large drilling program that is to take place in the future, attempt to determine the impact these events will have on the oil stocks earnings. In a lot of cases the future event’s impact on the oil stock will not be what the investment community forsees.
2) Trust Unit versus Common Share
There are a significant amount of oil and gas stocks which have converted to become trust units. The main purpose of these oil stocks becoming trust units is to save and defer tax to unitholders. However, the distributions that these oil stocks (trust units) pay out require a significant amount of cash flow and therefore reduce the growth capability of the specific oil stock. Therefore if you are looking for an oil stock which will provide you with steady cash flow than an oil stock which is a trust unit is your choice. Whereas if you would like to hold an oil stock in your portfolio which has a high growth potential you should stay away from oil stocks which are trust units. This is because normal public company shares usually do not pay out large dividends to shareholders as they prefer to reinvest their hard earned cash in their capital program. Oil and gas capital programs include purchasing land, mineral rights, drilling programs etc., all of which are more likely to generate shareholder value rather than just paying these funds out to unitholders.
3) Natural Gas versus Oil
Investors should be aware what percent of their oil and gas stocks interest is in natural gas versus oil. This is important as if you buy a natural gas focused oil and gas company and the price of natural gas is at an all time high then this is probably not the time to buy. However this is probably a good time to consider selling depending on what commodity experts feel the price of natural gas will do in the years/months to come. The same goes for oil stocks, although it is our feeling that the price of oil is much less volatile as it is doubtful the price of oil will be reduced by 50%. Whereas the price of natural gas can easily be reduced by 50% in a given year. If you are planning on holding your oil and gas investment for an extended period of time then do not fret too much about the commodity prices as they should increase with inflation over an extended period of time. If you are buying and selling oil and gas stocks for short periods of time, then commodity prices become extremely important as you can make a significant return in a short period of time.
By considering the above three factors you will be on your way to earning black gold. All oil and gas investors should also monitor insider trades of oil and gas public companies. http://www.findst.com is a invaluable resource for oil and gas investors as it helps oil and gas investors monitor their oil and gas stocks.
Carmen is an Insider Trading Analyst for Findst, an Oil and Gas Portal focusing on oil and gas stocks and oil and gas jobs specifically oilfield jobs and oil rig jobs [http://www.findst.com].[http://www.findst.com]
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