Oil and fuel stock BP is shrouded in uncertainty, the butt of watercolor jokes and is stuck in a downward spiral as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill closes in on three months of economic and environmental disaster for the region.
But if you think things are rough for BP shareholders, look out. There are 10 oil, gas and fuel stocks out there right now that are worse for you than BP.
For one, their steepest declines are yet to come. BP stock is down more than 50 per cent since the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster, while many of these stocks are only at the beginning of their declines.
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Another reason these stocks are trouble is because many investors may not have heard of these companies since they are largely small-cap stocks, and some traders could unwittingly put their money into these duds without knowing the consequences.
Then, of course, there are the specific reasons for each stock that make it a particular "dog with fleas." Take the European energy giant Total . This company has a market cap larger than BP as of this writing and some mistakenly believe that its size gives it stability. But shares are down about 16 per cent year-to-date due to the debt trouble in the eurozone economy and it looks like these troubles will continue to hold back the stock.
Or take small-cap Texas oil stock Tesoro , which has missed earnings estimates for the last two quarters and is slumping again ahead of the second quarter reporting season. Though the companies share similar problems as the industry fights a headwind, both of these oil stocks each have their own very particular troubles right now.
As you'll see, each of these stocks has a lot working against it right now. So to steer your portfolio clear of another BP disaster, here are 10 oil and gas stocks to sell now:
1. Torm . This transportation company owns and operates product tankers and dry bulk carriers, with the fleet of vessels under its control numbering around 140. So far, 2010 has been a disappointing year for Torm, with its shares sinking below average market earnings. Since May 1, TRMD numbers have taken a 28 per cent dive, with the company missing the mark on estimates for three of the past four earnings reports.
2. Nordic American Tanker Shipping . This international tanker company, based in Bermuda, operates a fleet of 20 double-hull crude oil tankers in the spot market, on time charters, and on bareboat charters. With its profit margins down this year, NAT's stock has been on a rollercoaster ride with shares down 11.5 per cent since the beginning of May.
3. Tesoro . The Texas-based petroleum refining and marketing company has seen a similar fate to that of NAT, with a slumping market performance for the first half of 2010. Closing the past two quarters below earnings estimates, Tesoro has watched its shares slide down 16.9 per cent since May 1.
4. ENI. With operations in 77 countries, Eni is in the business of oil and gas, power generation, and petrochemicals among other things. Coming in just under Wall Street estimates for three of the past four earnings reports, the Italian company's shares are down 15.3 per cent in just the past two months.
5. Total . This international oil and gas company operates in more than 130 countries worldwide and engages in numerous operations within the petroleum industry. I have been ranking Total as a stock to sell for some time, as recently as last week. That's because TOT is finding it difficult to buck the trend of poor earnings for oil stocks in 2010. Its shares have lost value along with the others since the start of May, seeing a 15.7 per cent loss during that period.
6. Endeavour International . This small-cap oil and gas stock explores and develops energy fields in the United States and United Kingdom. Currently, Endeavour is sitting on about 14 million barrels of oil equivalent. The last two months have not been kind to the stock, however, with shares slumping about 34 per cent since May 1. The company missed Wall Street estimates in two of its last four earnings reports, and that does not bode well for END stock as we approach another earnings season.
7. DHT Holdings. This oil transporter operates a fleet of double hull tankers, complete with nine vessels. DHT's fleet operates primarily in international waters, and possesses a combined carrying weight of over 1.6 million deadweight tons. While DHT's, stock is up since January, it has seen large drops since May, and is down 14.2 per cent in the past two months. DHT's earnings were also down 28.6 per cent from last quarter's estimates.
8. North European Oil Royalty Trust . The North European Oil Royalty Trust receives royalties from unit owners on the sale of well gas, oil well gas, crude oil, distillate and sulfur in Germany. NRT has declined steadily over the past two months, and is down 11.6 per cent during that time. Down 15.1 per cent overall in 2010, NRT's stock is anything but stable entering a new earnings season.
9. Alon USA Energy . Operating in California, Texas, Oregon and Louisiana, Alon is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Its products include gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, petrochemical feedstocks and asphalt, among others. Since May 3, Alon's stock has fallen 17.5 per cent, while also missing Wall Street earnings estimates two of the last four quarters.
10. General Maritime . This New York based company specializes in the international transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products. With a fleet of 31 vessels, GMR works with some big-name oil companies including ExxonMobil, Lukoil, Hess and Chevron. The fleet of double-hulled vessels has an overall carrying capacity of 3.9 million deadweight tons. Over the past two months, GMR's stock has fallen sharply, with a decline of 31.8 per cent. Likewise, the oil transporter's earnings reports have fallen well below Wall Street estimates each of the last four quarters, making GMR's outlook bleak.