Are Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) outperforming other oil and energy stocks this year?

For those looking to find strong oil and energy stocks, it is prudent to look for group companies that outperform their peers. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) is a stock that can certainly catch the eye of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to those of the sector as a whole? A quick look at the company’s year-to-date performance relative to the rest of the Oils-Energy sector should help answer that question.

Canadian Natural Resources is one of 253 individual stocks in the Oil & Energy sector. Collectively, these companies rank 6th in the Zacks industry rankings. The Zacks Sector Ranking takes into account 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Ranking of individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Ranking is a proven model that highlights a variety of stocks with the right characteristics to outperform the market over the next one to three months. The system emphasizes revisions to earnings estimates and favors companies with improving earnings prospects. Canadian Natural Resources currently has a Zacks ranking of #1 (Strong Buy).

Over the past 90 days, the Zacks consensus estimate for CNQ’s annual earnings has risen 12.2%. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock’s earnings outlook is more positive.

According to our latest data, CNQ has evolved by around 74% since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, shares of the Oil & Energy group gained around 33.1% on average. This shows that Canadian Natural Resources is outperforming its peers so far this year.

Another Oil & Energy stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Goodrich Petroleum (GDP). Since the start of the year, the stock has returned 128.2%.

Over the past three months, Goodrich Petroleum’s current-year EPS consensus estimate has risen 9.1%. The stock currently has a Zacks #1 rank (Strong Buy).

Breaking down further, Canadian Natural Resources is a member of the Canadian Oil and Gas Industry – Exploration and Production, which comprises 5 individual companies and is currently ranked 187th in the Zacks Industry Rankings. Shares in this group have gained about 80.6% so far this year, so CNQ is slightly underperforming its industry in this group in terms of year-to-date returns.

On the other hand, Goodrich Petroleum belongs to the Oil and Gas – Exploration and Production – United States industry. This 43-stock industry is currently ranked #112. The industry has grown by +106.6% since the start of the year.

Canadian Natural Resources and Goodrich Petroleum may continue their strong performance, so investors interested in oil and energy stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks.

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