Occidental Petroleum Stock Rallies Are Opportunities to Exit

Stock Market

In the last two weeks, I’ve fielded a question often enough that it deserves its own write-up. This year, the oil trade has been extremely popular. And up until recently, it has been profitable for the bulls. But last week, their party suffered a serious setback. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY), for example, abruptly fell 25%.

Today, I will answer the question if it is time to buy the dip in OXY stock. Spoiler alert; the answer is no. But this is nothing against the company itself. The rhetoric from the oil experts was too unanimous. As a result, expectations have risen to a near impossible level.

Ticker Company Price
OXY Occidental Petroleum Corporation $62.10

The Buffet Effect

Every Sunday, I hold a weekly free webinar in which I review 150 charts by request. Over the last two weeks, the list had more oil stock questions than ever before. OXY is always at the top of the list, followed by Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX). I can personally vouch for the quality of the latter two. And apparently, Mr. Warren Buffet’s team loves OXY stock. Regardless, my apprehension for owning the stock comes from the narrative.

If it spikes, I am looking to re-short it, like I did in early June. There are warning signs of buyer exhaustion. I could not recently rally even on news that Mr. Buffet added to his position. Frankly, he is going against his mantra. Normally, he preaches being cautious when everyone is greedy. In this case, he is making everyone greedy because of his accumulation of it. The difference is that we cannot trade like a billionaire. His goal is not to profit from the stock price. He’s probably looking to own the company’s cash flow eventually.

What is dangerous here is that not enough people are considering that the correction has just begun. There is a realistic technical scenario that places OXY stock near $45 per share. This would become a target if OXY stock falls below $54.30. The bulls will have a last chance effort at $51.70, but then it’s game over. The February rally was too violent and may have created a weak pocket that needs revisiting. I would not advise shorting it immediately. Wait until more ticks unfold this and next week.

How I Will Trade OXY Stock

From a trading perspective, if OXY rekindles it upside trajectory, I would repurchase put options. That worked like a charm recently and it paid us seven times our investment. I have enough profits in pocket to brave another. I also did the same with XOM and United States Oil Fund (NYSEARCA:USO) stocks. The levels I would deem short-able are near $65, or even better near $70 per share.

Once again, I’d like to point out that I don’t have much beef with the quality of the company. I’ve taken issue with the oil rhetoric, which was the cause for the immensely unreasonable rally. The OXY stock metrics are this good now only because of the higher commodity prices. This is not an explosion in production story. They last reported a huge $2.13 increase to income per share. However, production was only up 1.6% compared to last year’s. This is by definition a temporary situation, so it’s risky to assume it will persist.

Experts would have us believe that demand for energy is exploding. But in reality, demand is still below pre-pandemic levels. In addition, all major car manufacturers have committed to killing fossil fuel projects. If that’s the case, then the demand curve is about to take a tumble. It’s not an opinion, but a mathematical fact. Add to this that environmental, social and governance investing is now crossing over from fad to global laws. Oil consumption is a dying theme, so rallies should be opportunities to exit stocks, not chase.

On the date of publication, Nicolas Chahine 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.

Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com.

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