Dividends4Life: Energy Stocks: Looking At High Quality Dividend Payers

The plunge in oil prices dominates the headlines these days. Year to date, the price for West Texas Intermediate Crude is down over 40%. Oil stocks have not been spared. Year to date SPY is up nearly 10% while XLE is down 15%. It's the widest spread this year. It's also a sharp reversal from June. At that time XLE was up 16% for the year versus 8% for SPY. The decline may not be done with, but it's time to start looking at oil names. I wanted to find a safe long-term play. Meaning, one of the larger players with a strong financial position and history of paying dividends.

I started by screening for U.S. companies with a market capitalization over $50 billion in the energy sector. Then I looked at the 10 year overall ranking and the annual rating for each company and kept only the companies with good rankings or better. I ended up with five names: ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). It's a tie between CVX, OXY, and XOM. All three are in a strong financial position and have long histories of paying and raising their dividends.

Source: Seeking Alpha

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