Following Covid-19, investors were looking forward to a return to normal. Unfortunately, the Russian invasion of Ukraine transitioned once-cheap energy stocks into blisteringly hot opportunities. Still, a few discounted opportunities exist for bold contrarians.
While demand for critical resources remains generally strong, macroeconomic pressures have finally started to weigh on households. Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index increased 9.1% for the trailing 12 months ended June 30. Not surprisingly, the energy sector contributed the most to the cost spike, creating consumer adjustments. In turn, investors have an opportunity to acquire cheap energy stocks.
However, the discount might not last forever. With the July jobs report coming in much hotter than expected, it’s not unreasonable to assume that demand for core resources may rise in the future.
Therefore, speculators may want to position themselves early with cheap energy stocks that are too good to ignore.
Cheap Energy Stocks: Kinder Morgan (KMI)
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One of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) is a midstream powerhouse. Owning an interest in or operating roughly 83,000 miles of pipelines and 143 terminals, Kinder Morgan is vital to the economic viability of this nation. Its pipelines transport critical commodities, including natural gas, gasoline and crude oil. Further, its terminals store renewable fuels, petroleum, vegetable oils and other pertinent products.
To no one’s surprise, KMI shares are up approximately 15% on a year-to-date basis. However, what might be surprising is that the company is considered modestly undervalued against a basket of valuation metrics.
A key metric is its price-earnings ratio of 16.6 times, which while higher than the oil and gas industry median of 10.3 times, represents a significant improvement of Kinder’s historical median of 43.5 times earnings.
Finally, KMI is one of the cheap energy stocks to consider thanks to its robust profitability metrics. In particular, its operating margin of 21.6% easily beats out the underlying industry median of 6.2%.
Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR)
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Better known by its acronym Petrobras, Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE:PBR) is a state-owned Brazilian multinational corporation. The company specializes in multiple facets of the oil and gas industry, including refining, transportation and marketing, as well as exploration and production.
Geopolitically, Petrobras is a bit of a mixed bag. According to Deloitte, the underlying economic outlook of its home market is ambiguous considering its own varied performance following Covid-19 and supply chain disruptions associated with Russia’s military aggression. However, one positive factor that PBR might bank on is friendly relations between the U.S. and Brazil.
Like other formerly cheap energy stocks, PBR has enjoyed a bonanza in the open market, gaining over 40% YTD. Despite the swing higher, however, certain gauges suggest that shares are still modestly undervalued. In particular, Petrobras commands a forward P/E ratio of 3.7 times, which is far lower than the industry median of 7.1 times.
However, this discount might not last too long so investors should probably think quickly.
Cheap Energy Stocks: Suncor Energy (SU)
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An integrated energy firm presenting a wide range of solutions, Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU) is an appropriate idea for those seeking diverse exposure within a single investment. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Suncor primarily specializes in the production of synthetic crude from oil sands. According to its website, the energy firm was the first company to commercially develop the oil sands in northern Alberta, contributing to Canada’s economic prosperity.
Given the U.S.’s incredibly close ties to its northern neighbor, what’s good for Canada likely has positive downwind implications for the American economy. Just as importantly, Suncor is one of the traditional energy firms that has embraced low-carbon solutions such as wind turbines. Currently, the company is exploring the potential for solar power.
If these factors weren’t enough, SU is also one of the cheap energy stocks to buy. According to a basket of valuation metrics, Suncor is modestly undervalued. A notable standout is its forward P/E ratio of 6 times, lower than the industry median of 7.1 times. As well, the company features solid growth and profitability figures, giving it an enticing profile.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.