Is Chevron Stock Set for a Rebound?

Chevron stock received its second analyst upgrade in as many days, boosting hopes for a recovery in the lagging energy major.

Chevron stock CVX stock
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chevron (CVX) stock caught its second analyst upgrade in as many days Thursday, and investors surely appreciated the good news. After all, shares in the integrated oil and gas giant are lagging the broader market by a wide margin this year.

Tough comparisons against 2022 – a blowout year for profits as oil prices soared amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine – are just one headwind for Chevron. Fears of a recession settling in later this year are keeping a lid on oil prices, and that's also hurting CVX's prospects.

There's more to the bearish case on Chevron, but suffice to say, much of Wall Street isn't head over heels in love with the stock's chances. If you take a look at analysts rankings of all 30 Dow stocks, CVX isn't anywhere near the top. 

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Two upgrades in two days has certainly improved Chevron stock's position, however. The latest move came Thursday when RBC Capital Markets analyst Biraj Borkhataria lifted his recommendation on CVX stock to Outperform (the equivalent of Buy) from Sector Perform (Hold). The analyst also lifted his price target on CVX stock to $180 from $165.

On Wednesday, J.P. Morgan analyst John Royall upgraded Chevron stock to Neutral (Hold) from Underweight (the equivalent of Sell), while lifting his target price to $170 from $161.

Both analysts cite Chevron's defensive characteristics – notably its fortress-like balance sheet – which is a common theme among CVX bulls.

Chevron stock's high implied return

Of the 26 analysts issuing recommendations on Chevron stock surveyed by S&P Global Market Intelligence, eight say it's a Strong Buy, five have it at Buy and 13 call it a Hold. That works out to a consensus rating of Buy, with moderate conviction.

Meanwhile, the Street's average price target of $186.48 gives CVX stock implied upside of 22% in the next 12 months or so. Add in the dividend yield, and Chevron's implied total return comes to more than 26%.

Chevron stock is off about 15% for the year-to-date on a price basis vs a nearly 10% gain for the S&P 500. The latest analyst upgrades would suggest that CVX is attractively priced at current levels.

Warren Buffett is certainly a big fan. The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) has settled on CVX as one of just two investments in the energy sector. (Occidental Petroleum (OXY) is the other bet.)

Although Buffett reduced Berkshire's CVX stake by about 18% last quarter, the oil major remains one of the most important stocks in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. At the end of March, Berkshire owned 132.4 million CVX shares worth $20.2 billion at current levels. With ownership of 7% of Chevron's common stock, Berkshire Hathaway is the energy firm's third largest shareholder after Vanguard and BlackRock. 

No one on the Street rates CVX at Sell, but it's understandable why so many analysts are sitting on the sidelines at Hold. The latest upgrades – and Buffett's conviction on the name – should at the very least give Chevron bulls some confidence. Perhaps we'll even see something of a floor put under CVX's price in an otherwise disappointing 2023. 

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.