A Big Upgrade for CNOOC

Every day, the sun rises on Wall Street, and a plethora of professional analysts wake to issue new opinions on stocks. Here at the Fool, we use our "This Just In" column to examine some of these picks -- and the track record of the firm behind them -- so individuals can make better investing decisions.

In addition to following professional banks, anyone can use Motley Fool CAPS to monitor the collective opinions of more than 125,000 members, many of whom demonstrate better investing insight than published analysts do.

These days, enough top-performing CAPS members are feeling bullish about oil and gas giant CNOOC (NYSE: CEO  ) to upgrade it from a four-star rank to a more formidable five stars. A total of 1,183 members have weighed in on CNOOC, with many offering analysis and commentary to explain their recent optimism.

While Big Oil companies ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) , Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) , and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  ) have been reporting mixed results, CNOOC said it pulled in profits of nearly $10 billion in 2008, with revenue rising 22%. Although oil prices and Chinese stocks have been knocked down to low levels, CNOOC has maintained a growth track that includes plans to increase production by 14% this year.    

Stimulus spending in China has begun, and CNOOC expects to boost capital expenditures this year to $6.76 billion, a 19% increase, which it expects will fuel growth for several years. It expects to bring 10 new projects into play in 2009, including ones in Nigeria and Indonesia, and it already has partnerships with PetroVietnam and Petrobras (NYSE: PBR  ) . It also plans massive exploration in the South China Sea with the help of Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC  ) and Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN  ) . Many CAPS members consider cheap shares of CNOOC an opportunity not to be missed, and nearly 97% of the 1,183 members rating CNOOC expect it to outperform the market.

To see what the very best CAPS analysts are saying now about CNOOC -- and discover the other winning stocks they are picking -- head on over to CAPS and have a look. Unlike analysts' opinions, which only go to paying clients, the community research and resources in CAPS are totally free.

More Foolishness:

The Motley Fool Global Gains team has been all over China, scouring the nation for what they believe will be some of the greatest investment opportunities in the coming decades. Check out what they are recommending to buy today with a free trial for 30 days.

Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his sandals with some duct tape. He owns shares of ExxonMobil. CNOOC is a Global Gains recommendation. Petroleo Brasileiro is an Income Investor selection. No amount of practice has helped the Fool's disclosure policyin reducing its quarter mile time.


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