This Ridiculously Cheap Warren Buffett Stock Could Help Make You Richer


Contrary to a common assumption, successful stock-picking doesn’t have to be a complicated or time-consuming process. Take Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as an example. Its equity investment unit achieved its market-beating long-term track record largely by buying and holding the simplest of stocks. Buffett just happens to have the discipline of buying into quality companies at good prices, and then sticking with them while they make progress.

You can do the same. You can even do it by picking from among the same stocks Berkshire Hathaway holds since it regularly discloses what’s in its portfolio. And one of its holdings you may want to dive into while it’s cheap is oil and natural gas giant Chevron (NYSE: CVX).

Buffett’s sticking with Chevron for a while

Berkshire Hathaway has owned oil stocks in the past, but it’s not a sector it has kept a great deal of exposure to for years on end. Indeed, the Chevron position first initiated back in 2020 makes it one of his longer-held energy names. The fact that Berkshire is still holding this one speaks volumes about Buffett’s confidence in the company.

Underscoring this confidence was Berkshire’s purchase of nearly 16 million more shares of Chevron during the fourth quarter, bringing its total up to 126 million. Moreover, this $19 billion stake makes up more than 5% of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock portfolio and accounts for more than 6% of Chevron’s outstanding shares.

What gives?

Perhaps most important to Buffett is that the company — and the stock — are performing as hoped. Crude oil prices are far above where they were during their late 2020 lull, and Chevron shares have more than doubled in price since Berkshire’s initial purchase of them. The company has made steady, generous dividend payments in the meantime, too, raising its quarterly payout from $1.29 per share then to $1.63 per share now.

Yet even with the stock’s gains, it’s cheaply valued at only 13.3 times this year’s projected earnings of $11.63. Its dividend yield of 4% is above average too.

The chief reason Buffett is still holding onto his Chevron investment, however, may be the expectation that it will be able to continue delivering share price gains as well as rewarding dividend payments.

Oil’s catching a long-term tailwind

Plenty of investors will debate that expectation. Stronger environmental regulations are proving increasingly challenging for fossil fuel companies like Chevron. And as renewable sources of energy get more competitive, their share of the market grows. From a distance, the end of the age of oil and natural gas seems nigh.

Take a closer look at the current state of the energy market though. According to the Energy Institute, in 2022, 30% of the world’s energy was created by oil, while another 22% came from natural gas. Despite widespread efforts in nations around the world to promote a transition to cleaner energy production, only 7% of the world’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources.

Meanwhile, only a tiny fraction of the world’s operational automobiles are fully electric vehicles. Although EVs are gaining market share in new car sales, research outfit Canalys suggests that less than one-fifth of new vehicles sold these days are battery EVs.

The world’s far from ready to stop consuming oil. We may even need to use more of it annually in the near and distant future.

That’s what OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) predicts, anyway. An outlook published by the group in October suggests the world’s daily need for oil will hold steady through 2045, with the development of cleaner alternatives merely keeping pace with the planet’s growing need for power. OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais reiterated that view earlier this month.

The International Energy Administration isn’t quite as pessimistic. It predicts that demand for oil and natural gas will peak in 2030. Even then, however, the long-term decline in the consumption of crude will be slow and shallow. The IEA’s most optimistic-but-realistic outlook suggests that global consumption of oil won’t even be cut in half between now and 2050. There’s much money to be made by powerhouse Chevron in the meantime. Never even mind that proven reserves of oil and natural gas worldwide are stagnant, if not dwindling. Increasing scarcity means oil companies will enjoy greater pricing power as time marches on.

In other words, there’s plenty of money to be made by Chevron for a long, long while.

There’s not much to dislike about Chevron stock

Should you buy Chevron solely because Buffett likes it? No. Your stock picks still have to make sense for you and your portfolio. Berkshire also owns a bunch of other stocks well outside of the energy sector, diversifying its holdings. If you’re already well exposed to the oil and natural gas sector, you may not necessarily want to take on any more. You also won’t know if he sells any stock until months after the fact if you’re hoping to mirror every move Berkshire makes with any particular position.

Buffett’s bullishness on Chevron isn’t tough to figure out though. It’s just rather amazing you can still step into this stock at its current valuation. That’s particularly true in light of next year’s expected top-line progress and forecast profit growth of 16% per share.

Should you invest $1,000 in Chevron right now?

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James Brumley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Berkshire Hathaway and Chevron. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

This Ridiculously Cheap Warren Buffett Stock Could Help Make You Richer was originally published by The Motley Fool


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