Big Oil's Time to Prove Itself

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which energy editor/analyst Joel South and industrials editor/analyst Isaac Pino discuss topics across the investing world.

Energy stocks have been the whipping boys of the market this past year due to low natural gas prices and unprecedented reserve levels. Oil and gas services companies have seen respectable growth in the first quarter almost exclusively because a growing number of rigs have switched from natural gas plays to oil and liquids rigs. This week will define the fate of big oil, with three of the United States' top players in the exploration and production sector releasing earnings. ConocoPhillips missed on earnings expectations, but will this translate into ExxonMobil and Chevron witnessing the same fate? Or will Thursday and Friday show us that refining margins caused by the spread between West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude prices will be enough to push the titans into positive territory -- and reclaim some respect from Wall Street this earnings season?

Although we always invest for the long term at the Fool, companies have a lot riding on each time they report earnings. Earnings season can propel your favorite stocks to new heights or sink them like the Titanic. Fortunately, the Fool recently identified five stocks we think are poised to win as they report their first-quarter earnings this month -- and stand to succeed years into the future as well. read about them in out free report: "5 Stocks Investors Need to Watch This Earnings Season." The report won't be available forever, so we invite you to enjoy a free copy today. You can click here to access your report -- it's totally free.

Isaac Pino has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Joel South has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Transocean. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Joel South

Joel is a University of Washington graduate and covers energy and materials for The Motley Fool. Be sure to follow The Motley Fool's energy and materials Twitter for all your energy and materials coverage.

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