Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Moving Up

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:OXY), founded in 1920, is one of the oldest players in the oil and gas sector. Initially, it started operating as a small drilling firm. But over the years, it attracted many investors, discovered several big oil reservoirs, and made multiple acquisitions to become one of the leading players in the industry.

However, the oil and gas sector suffered a huge setback last year due to the Covid-19 crisis. Occidental stock has lost nearly half its value over the past year due to the negative impact of the pandemic. OXY shares were trading around $40 at the start of 2020 before plummeting more than 50 percent in the first week of March after the company decided to cut its dividend for the first time in nearly 3 decades.

Extremely low crude prices and heavy debt forced the company to slash the dividend to 11 cents per share. Two months later, OXY once again trimmed its quarterly dividend to 1 cent per share, sending its shares down to another low of around $13 at the end of May.

OXY shares momentarily traded above $20 in June following reports that the company is planning to sell several assets across the Middle East to reduce its debt load. Overall, the stock has declined around 49 percent during the past 12 months.

Nevertheless, OXY shares jumped 12.65 percent to $22.62 on January 12th after research firm Mizuho upgraded the stock from “Neutral” to “Buy” and lifted its price target from $11 per share to $26 per share.

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Meanwhile, Occidental recently announced its plans of building a direct air capture (DAC) plant, which will suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and pump it deep into the ground to reduce emissions causing global warming. The plant will have the capability to eliminate 1 million tons of CO2 on an annual basis. The move will also help the company to become carbon-neutral by 2050.