If you bought shares of Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU)(NYSE:SU) on April 28th, you’re probably a little frustrated now. Since the quarterly report, shares have dropped over 7%, which can be very annoying in the short term. But if you haven’t bought yet and are sitting on the sidelines, you’ve entered one of my favourite periods of time.
When a really great company has a bad quarter because of situations it can’t control, I see it as an amazing buying opportunity, and Suncor is in that position right now.
Because of where oil prices are right now, Suncor had a $-0.24 EPS in the last quarter whereas in the previous year it had a $1.01 EPS. Because of this, and because revenues were down in comparison, the stock plummeted. But as I’ve said all along, Suncor is one of the best companies to hold during this tough time in the oil market.
If you’ve listened to management at Suncor, they’ve all said that they didn’t believe oil prices could stay up as high as they had been. Suncor has been making moves to cut its capital expenses in an effort to become a much leaner operation. While it had originally planned to cut $600-800 million from its operating budget over two years, it’s cut costs so efficiently that it’ll reach those numbers a year ahead of schedule in 2015. On top of that, it anticipates being able to cut even more than $800 million.
Because the company is able to cut costs so aggressively, it’s able to reduce the cost per barrel. In 2011 it cost the company about $40 to get a barrel of oil. Now, the cash cost per barrel, according to the company, is $28.40. That’s a considerable savings that will definitely benefit the company when oil prices return.
To top it all off, these cost savings have allowed the company to keep its dividend completely secure. I’m of the mindset that it’s better to buy a company that pays a lower, consistent dividend than one that pays a higher, but inconsistent dividend. Fortunately, Suncor does both. The company plans to pay its quarterly dividend of $0.28 in June, which comes out to a 3.07% yield at current levels.
When there is fear, attack
When it comes to stocks, people behave irrationally. If a stock rises really fast, suddenly people are buying it because it’s the next great thing. And when a stock drops, people instantly start selling because they’re afraid to lose all their money.
This, naturally, goes against the basic rules of investing: buy low, sell high. Because of where Suncor is now, you have a chance to buy a stock that is unfairly depressed.
When there’s fear, attack. I believe this is a price that Suncor won’t be at long term. It’s an efficient company that will generate a considerable amount of cash flow when the price of oil returns to higher levels. And if I know anything about Suncor, it’ll pay it forward by hiking the dividend to reward investors.
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Jacob Donnelly has no position in any stocks mentioned.