Electric vehicles have become popular over the past few years. But EVs could take a significant hit based on what’s happening in Switzerland.
According to a report in the Telegraph in December, the country is weighing emergency measures in case of an electricity supply shortage this winter.
Switzerland — the best country in the world according to a recent analysis from US News & World Report — could shorten store operating hours, lower the thermostats in buildings, and limit the private use of electric cars to “absolutely necessary journeys.”
But just the suggestion of curbing EV use fired up the country’s auto lobby. Director of the auto-schweiz importers group, Andreas Burgener, called it “a disservice to electromobility.”
“Customers who buy or order a vehicle now will think twice about whether they should go back to petrol or diesel,” Burgener said in an interview with Reuters.
The proposed measures haven’t been passed into law, they do serve as a reminder that electricity doesn’t magically appear at every wall outlet — and EVs don’t run on fairy dust.
And this potential setback for electric vehicles serves as a reminder that traditional energy is not dead. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) — which provides exposure to oil and gas companies — has actually gone up 30% in the last year.
Moreover, Wall Street sees further upside in quite a few companies engaged in hydrocarbon exploration. Here’s a look at three of them.
Headquartered in London, Shell (NYSE:SHEL) is a multinational energy giant with operations in more than 70 countries. It produces around 3.2 barrels of oil equivalent per day, has an interest in 10 refineries, and sold 64.2 million tons of liquefied natural gas in 2021.
It’s a staple for global investors, too. Shell is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam, and the New York Stock Exchange.
The company’s NYSE-listed shares have gone up 10% over the last year.
Piper Sandler analyst Ryan Todd sees an opportunity in the oil and gas supermajor. The analyst has an ‘overweight’ rating on Shell and a price target of $70.
Considering that Shell trades at around $61.50 per share today, Todd’s price target implies a potential upside of 14%.
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is another oil and gas supermajor that’s benefiting from the commodity boom.
In 2022, the company reported earnings of $35.5 billion, which represented a 127% increase from 2021. Sales and other operating revenues totaled $235.7 billion for 2022, up 51% year over year.
Last month, Chevron’s board approved a 6% increase to the quarterly dividend rate to $1.51 per share. That gives the company an annual dividend yield of 3.5%.
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The stock has enjoyed a nice rally too, climbing 25% over the past year.
In January, Barclays analyst Jeanine Wai reiterated an ‘overweight’ rating on Chevron while raising the price target from $196 to $212. That implies a potential upside of 24% from the current levels.
Commanding a market cap of roughly $480 billion, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is bigger than Shell and Chevron.
The company also boasts the strongest stock price performance among the three — Exxon shares went up 48% over the past year.
It’s not hard to see why investors like the stock: the oil-producing giant gushes profits and cash flow in this commodity price environment. In 2022, Exxon earned $55.7 billion in profits, a huge increase from the $23.0 billion in 2021. Free cash flow totaled $62.1 billion for the year, compared to $37.9 billion in 2021.
Solid financials allow the company to return cash to investors. Exxon pays quarterly dividends of 91 cents per share, translating to an annual yield of 3.1%.
Bank of America analyst Doug Leggate has a ‘buy’ rating on Exxon and a price target of $140 — around 19% above where the stock sits today.
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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.
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