It looks as if the oil and gas producers are going to be a somewhat mixed bag for the remainder of earnings season. As such, I'm considering putting two boxes on my office floor and labeling one "strong" and the other "soggy."
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to plop the earnings report of Occidental Petroleum
Among the items included in this year's one-time items were a $181 million gain from Oxy's sale of 18.6 million shares of Lyondell Chemical
But because of my new penchant for exposing Fools to the differences that make each producing company an individual entity, I'd like to conduct a one-paragraph tour of what makes up Oxy. As a producing company, it has plays in several U.S. onshore producing horizons, including the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico and the Hugoton field of Kansas and Oklahoma. It's unusually active in several parts of Latin America, and is busy in Qatar, Yemen, Oman, and Libya. It also conducts chemical operations that accounted for about 28% of the most recent quarter's revenues.
But in attempting to determine the attractiveness of Oxy's shares, I'm taken by a couple of numbers. Specifically, while the company's P/E is essentially in line with its peers, as is its return on equity, its relative debt level is lower than most. And its operating margin is up there with or near the likes of smaller and theoretically more nimble independent producers Devon Energy
It also hasn't escaped my practiced eye that the company is a core holding of respected energy seer T. Boone Pickens. All things considered, Occidental is a company I'm inclined to keep firmly in my sights.
For related Foolishness:
- Occidentally Mixed Results
- Investing in Your Backyard: Hollywood and Vine
- A Manhattan Project for Energy, Part 1
Fool contributor David Lee Smith describes himself as something of a kid in a candy store amid a host of attractive energy companies -- which he can't buy because he continues to write about them for Fools. He doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your communiques. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.