Even though Warren Buffett may be winding down his stake in ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) for ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), that doesn't mean investors should shy away from this company. After a couple of years of major asset sales and the spinoff of its refining arm in Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), the future could be a very promising one.

One way investors can get a gauge on how Conocopillips will perform in 2014 is to look at its quarterly earnings, which are slated to come out January 30th. Of everything that will be thrown out during this release, there are three key items investors should look for. One of those is how the company plans to start drilling shale in the Permain Basin. With potentially 50 billion barrels of shale oil in the region, Conocophillips is extremely well positioned to capture a large share. To find out what else investors should look for, tune into the video below.

Even with a 4% dividend, ConocoPhillips couldn't make our top dividend stock list
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. Find out what companies were more worthy than Conocophillips instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.


Fool contributor Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at Fool.com under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter, @TylerCroweFool. 

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