The best dividend stocks are usually ones that can provide a combination of dividends and growth.
This is why the Dividend Aristocrats are such a valuable group of stocks. With proven business models and durable competitive advantages, the Dividend Aristocrats have demonstrated the ability to raise their dividends every year, even in recessions.
Dividend growth investors should take a closer look at the oil industry. In the aftermath of the recent attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, oil prices jumped. This could be a major tailwind for oil stocks such as Chevron (CVX), which also happens to be a Dividend Aristocrat. As a result, Chevron could be one of the top oil stocks for long-term dividend growth.
A Premier Oil Stock
Chevron is an oil and gas supermajor. The stock has a market capitalization above $230 billion, making it one of the largest energy companies in the world. Roughly three-quarters of Chevron’s production is based on the price of oil. As a result, Chevron would be a natural beneficiary of a prolonged rally in oil prices.
Chevron reported strong financial results last quarter. In contrast to the other oil majors, many of which posted lower earnings due to lower prices of oil and natural gas, Chevron grew its earnings-per-share 28% last quarter. Earnings growth was due primarily to record production volumes, the merger termination fee from Anadarko, and a non-cash tax benefit in Canada.
Chevron grew its production 9% over last year’s quarter thanks to more than 50% growth in the Permian Basin and strong growth at Wheatstone in Australia and thus posted record production volumes. Investors can expect production growth to continue, which will be highly lucrative for Chevron if oil prices continue to rise going forward.
New Projects Will Fuel Growth
Chevron’s future earnings growth will be fueled not just by rising oil prices, but also by a massive ramp-up in production. Chevron grew its production by 5% in 2017 and 7% in 2018 and is on track to grow its output by 4%-7% this year. Moreover, it has provided guidance for 3%-4% annual production growth over the next five years.
A major growth driver will be the Permian Basin, one of the most productive and highest-quality oil fields in the United States. Chevron has nearly doubled the amount of its estimated reserves in the area in just the past two years. Chevron anticipates further growth in store—the company expects its production in the Permian Basin to reach 600,000 barrels per day by the end of 2020 and 900,000 barrels per day by the end of 2023.
Another major area of growth is Chevron’s Gorgon gas field in Australia. With total daily production averaging 2.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 18,000 barrels of condensate in 2018, Gorgon is one of the world’s largest gas fields.
The combination of production growth and higher oil prices would be a big positive catalyst for the company’s earnings. In turn, shareholders would benefit through higher dividends. Chevron has increased its dividend for over 30 years in a row, and if its profits accelerate from rising oil prices, its dividend growth could follow suit. Chevron has a highly attractive current yield of 4% today.
Buy This Dividend Aristocrat for Higher Oil Prices
Oil prices have stagnated for the past several years, as the world worked through a supply glut. But with rising geopolitical concerns following the Saudi Arabia attack, it is possible oil prices are about to rally from here.
If oil prices continue to rise, dividend growth investors should consider high-quality oil stocks such as Chevron. Not only is Chevron a Dividend Aristocrat with a nearly 4% yield, it could generate strong growth in an environment of rising oil prices due to its production growth.
Ben Reynolds is CEO of Sure Dividend. Sure Dividend helps individual investors build high quality dividend growth stock portfolios for the long run.
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