What happened

Shares of Baker Hughes (NASDAQ:BKR) climbed 14.3% in December, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the broader market climbed and after a Wall Street analyst weighed in with a positive note on the oil stock.

A man in a suit draws an upward-trending line chart with his finger.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

So what

For perspective, the broader industry also enjoyed gains last month, leaving the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF up an impressive 16.3%.

But Baker Hughes' momentum was also aided by a positive note on Dec. 11 from Stephens analyst Tommy Moll, who initiated coverage on the company with an overweight rating and a $28-per-share price target. Moll argued at the time that Baker Hughes could see margin improvements given its "self-help" initiatives, and is "not only the most compelling large cap in oilfield services and equipment, but also an underappreciated industrial investment."

Now what

Indeed, Baker Hughes was one of the 10 best-performing energy stocks of 2019, helped by new liquefied natural gas projects, cost synergies realized by integrating General Electric's energy business into its own operations, and GE steadily selling down its stake in the company to remove an overhang on the share price. But if Moll was correct, Baker Hughes stock could still have some room to run.

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