ConocoPhillips (COP): This Stock is Great for Your IRA

With tax day fast approaching, it’s possible that you’ll need to make a fairly large deposit in your IRA. While I’m not so lucky this year, if I were adding capital to my retirement account, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) would be the first stock I’d buy. Let’s drill down into this energy giant and see why it gets top billing.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

Visible growth
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) has spent the past few years rebalancing its portfolio and slimming down so that it is in a better position to grow. In the process, its shed lower margin assets like its refining arm Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) along with a list of other lower-growth, low-margin, and non-core assets. The spin-off of Phillips 66 stock to investors has been well received by the market and has been a brilliant move by the company. By freeing the company, it has enabled Phillips 66 management team the freedom to pursue the best plan for its business, and not have to please its parent.

These moves have also given ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) the flexibility to invest in high-margin projects, which will drive the company’s ability to meet its goal of growing margins by 3%-5% annually through 2017. As margins improve it has the potential to drive $6 billion of incremental cash flow. That cash flow can be used to compound its growth going forward, or it can be returned to investors. Either way, it sets ConocoPhillips’ stock up to be a long-term, winning investment.

In addition to margins, the company believes it can boost its production by 3%-5% annually. To get there it plans to maintain discipline, as you can see from the following chart:

Source: ConocoPhillips Investor Presentation

With ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) you have visible growth, but its not growth at all costs. Instead, you have a company that’s pursuing increasingly more profitable growth which should yield stellar long-term stock returns for investors.