Energy stocks have certainly taken it on the chin since the BP oil spill first made headlines just a few months ago. Some companies directly attached to the disaster, such as Transocean (NYSE: RIG) and Halliburton, may have seen shares fall as uncertainty increased regarding their potential liabilities. However, lots of stocks have been beaten down without justification.

Fortunately, here at Motley Fool CAPS we can try to anticipate which companies are doomed to defeat or poised to pop. Our 165,000-member investing community aggregates intelligence and ranks stocks according to their ability to outperform the market in the months ahead. A one-star stock is least likely to outperform, while five-star stocks are the true studs of the investing universe.

To see where today's bargain-basement prices may lie, I ran a screen for energy stocks now trading for P/Es of less than 15, which have lost value over the past three months, and which have earned a coveted four- or five-star ranking in CAPS. Below are the five cheapest companies, listed in rank order:


P/E Ratio

13-Week % Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Noble (NYSE: NE)




FX Energy (Nasdaq: FXEN)








Atwood Oceanics (NYSE: ATW)




Diamond Offshore (NYSE: DO)




Source: Motley Fool CAPS, data as of Aug. 6, 2010. Price change May 7, 2010 through Aug. 6, 2010.

Most oil and gas drillers have felt the burden of the Gulf drilling moratorium, the uncertainty about drilling regulations, and the general malaise in the market. Noble, however, seems like an outlier that is just waiting to see its shares skyrocket. As fellow Fool David Williamson points out in this great analysis, Noble has a great balance sheet, excellent deepwater exposure, and some of the best operating margins in the industry. And unlike Transocean, it's not at all connected to the BP oil spill, so there's really nothing hanging over its head.

 ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) and Sandridge Energy (NYSE: SD) are also currently trading at low prices. ATP has two big knocks against it: It does a significant amount of business in the Gulf, and its recently reported second quarter earnings were dismal. It reported a net loss of $89.2 million, some of which was related to debt financing and some of which was related to a halted project in the Gulf. However, as a five-star stock trading at a forward P/E multiple of 5.2, many investors think this could be a great opportunity to buy in on the cheap.

Sandridge, on the other hand, actually reported a profit -- but couldn't keep up with overly optimistic analyst revenue estimates. Sandridge is trading at 12 times forward earnings, so there could be room to run on this one as well.

Jordan DiPietro owns shares of Noble and ATP Oil & Gas. Atwood Oceanics is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Noble. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.