Top oil and gas stocks for Q4 2021

The oil and gas industry includes upstream companies that research and produce energy, midstream pipeline companies that transport and store energy, and downstream companies that refine oil and gas into finished products. In addition, there are companies that provide oilfield drilling equipment and services. Some also manufacture and maintain equipment used in production. The largest companies in the sector are Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A), UK-based BP PLC (BP) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM).

Oil demand and prices collapsed in the spring of 2020 as COVID-19 prompted governments to shut down trade and leave millions of people at home. However, crude oil prices have recovered after governments gradually allowed businesses to reopen and new vaccines opened the door to an economic recovery.

The oil and gas industry is best represented by the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE). While the energy sector is made up of non-oil and gas companies, the dominant components come from the oil and gas industry. The performance of the energy sector is therefore a good measure for the oil and gas sector as a whole. The XLE ETF posted a total return of 54.2% over the past year, outperforming the Russell 1000’s total return of 37.1%. These market performance figures and all statistics in the tables below are as of September 10, 2021.

Here are the top 3 oil and gas stocks with the best value, fastest growth and most momentum.

These are the oil and gas stocks with the lowest price-earnings ratio over 12 months. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows that you are paying less for every dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Oil & Gas Stocks
Price ($) Market Capitalization ($B) 12 month ongoing P/E ratio
California Resources Corp. (CRC) 39.33 3.2 0.9
Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO) €2.36 CA$1.3 1.1
Surgutneftegas PJSC (SGTPY) 5.20 18.6 1.2

Source: YCharts

  • California Resources Corp.: California Resources is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) company with operations in California.
  • Baytex Energy Corp.: Baytex Energy is a Canadian-based oil and gas company. It is focused on the acquisition, development and production of crude oil and natural gas in both Canada and the US
  • Surgutneftegas PJSC: Surgutneftegas is a Russian-based oil and gas company engaged in exploration, drilling and production, oil refining and gas processing. The E&P activities are located in three of Russia’s oil and gas provinces.

Here are the top oil and gas stocks, ranked by a growth model that rates companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth. Both sales and profits are critical factors for a company’s success. Therefore, ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to that quarter’s accounting anomalies (such as changes in tax laws or restructuring costs) that may prevent one figure or the other from being representative of the company in general. Companies with quarterly earnings per share or revenue growth of more than 2500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest growing oil and gas reserves
Price ($) Market Capitalization ($B) EPS growth (%) Revenue growth (%)
Northern Oil & Gas Inc. (YET) 17.27 1.1 N/A (see company description) 992.2
Spartan Delta Corp. (SDE.TO) CA$4.45 CA$0.7 -85.2 716.5
Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) 38.59 14.2 N/A (see company description) 603.1

Source: YCharts

  • Northern Oil & Gas Inc.: Northern Oil & Gas is an independent energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas properties. The operations are located in different regions in the US. In early August, the company announced it would increase its quarterly ordinary stock dividend by 50% compared to the previous quarter. The dividend will be made payable to registered shareholders on October 29, 2021 as of the close of business on September 30, 2021. Northern Oil & Gas reported negative EPS in the most recent quarter, so no EPS growth rate could be calculated for the above table.
  • Spartan Delta Corp.: Spartan Delta is a Canadian-based oil and gas company engaged in the exploration, development and production of petroleum and natural gas properties in western Canada. The company announced in late August that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Velvet Energy Ltd., a privately held light oil producer, for CA$751.5 million ($593.7 million).
  • Continental Resources Inc.: Continental Resources is a crude oil and natural gas company. It focuses on the exploration and production of oil and natural gas properties in various regions of the US. The company announced in late July that it would pay a quarterly dividend of $0.15 on August 20, 2021, representing an increase of 36.4% from the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2021. Continental Resources reported negative EPS in last year’s quarter compared to positive EPS in the most recent quarter. Therefore, no EPS growth rate could be calculated for the above table.

These are the oil and gas stocks with the highest total returns over the past 12 months. Companies with a total return of more than 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Oil and gas stocks with the most momentum
Price ($) Market Capitalization ($B) 12 months sequential total return (%)
Vertex Energy Inc. (VTNR) 6.76 0.4 1,230
SM Energy Co. (SM) 19.83 2.4 997.1
Centennial Resource Development Inc. (CDEV) 5.24 1.5 915.7
Russell 1000 Index N/A N/A 37.1
Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) N/A N/A 54.2

Source: YCharts

  • Vertex Energy Inc.: Vertex Energy is a specialized refinery of alternative raw materials and seller of high purity petroleum products. The company supplies base oils to the lubricant industry in North America. Vertex Energy announced in late June that it has agreed to sell its portfolio of used motor oil collection and recycling assets to Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Clean Harbors Inc. (CLH), for $140 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
  • SM Energy Co.: SM Energy is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas. Its operations are located in various regions in the US
  • Centennial Resource Development Inc.: Centennial Resource Development is an independent oil and natural gas company. It is aimed at developing oil and natural gas reserves in the Permian Basin.

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  1. Y Charts. “Financial data.” Accessed September 13, 2021.

  2. Northern Oil and Gas Inc.”Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. declares cash dividend on common stock, up 50% from last quarter.” Accessed September 14, 2021.

  3. Northern Oil & Gas Inc.”Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results and Updates.” Accessed September 14, 2021.

  4. Inc.”1 CAD to USD – Convert Canadian Dollars to US Dollars.” Accessed September 14, 2021.


  6. Continental Resources Inc.”Continental Resources declares and raises quarterly dividend.” Accessed September 14, 2021.

  7. Continental Resources Inc.”Continental Resources delivers outstanding results in 2Q21, delivering robust cash flow and exceptional shareholder value.” Accessed September 14, 2021.

  8. Vertex Energy Inc.”Vertex Energy Announces Agreement to Dispose of Used Motor Oil Collection and Recycling for $140 Million.” Accessed September 14, 2021.

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