I love bargain stocks, especially when they're hitting 52-week lows. Still, it can be instructive to also look at stocks that are riding high.

For one thing, they can make good sell candidates. More optimistically, we may be able to find a few companies that can continue their upward climbs.

In this series, I'll search industry by industry for stocks reaching 52-week highs. That way, we'll be able to make a few quick comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Energy is one of them.

Below are the top seven companies in this space (by market cap) that are within spitting distance of their 52-week highs.

Company

Recent Price

52-Week Low

52-Week High

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

PetroChina (NYSE: PTR) $122.05 $99.02 $133.27 12.6
Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) $63.41 $49.16 $64.26 12.7
Chevron (NYSE: CVX) $83.46 $66.83 $85.79 9.9
China Petroleum & Chemical (NYSE: SNP) $94.62 $70.15 $98.84 8.6
Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC) $46.71 $23.47 $48.79 33.4
Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) $68.25 $51.67 $73.99 20.3
CNOOC (NYSE: CEO) $200.59 $139.01 $216.50 13.9

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Yahoo! Finance.

What's interesting in the energy space is the low earnings multiples, even for these highfliers. There are actually some multiples here that are as low or lower than in the 52-week lows list (click here).

With a heavy reliance on oil in both the highs and the lows list, it makes sense to ask about its viability going forward with all the focus on alternative fuels (though admittedly at lower market caps). Here's an argument for why oil will stick around.  

If you are interested in reading more about any of these stocks, add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

CNOOC is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Chevron is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. 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 Fool has a disclosure policy.