Valero Energy Corporation (VLO), Devon Energy Corp (DVN), and Newmont Mining Corp (NEM): 3 Resource Stocks With At Least 15% Upside

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The basic materials sector is under-performing the overall market. As the S&P 500 rises 4.2% for the month and 15% in 2013, a number of companies in the resource sector are in the red. Unsurprisingly, analysts as a whole are bearish on some of the weak players. The target prices of companies in this sector were lowered, with the most notable changes listed in the table below:

Company % Change in Target # Analysts Current Target % From Target Prev. Week Target
Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) -11.36 13 $45.68 19% $51.53
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)
-10.81 17 $42.14 24% $47.24
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) -2.21 12 $26.53 15% $27.13

Data Source: Bloomberg

By comparison to the target price, below is a chart of the book value of the companies:

CLF Book Value Per Share data by YCharts

The resource sector is tricky for investors at nearly all levels of experience. Novice investors might view the steep drop as a buying opportunity, but value is only created for investors if the stock price is below the company’s intrinsic value.

Investors need to decide if the companies receiving a lower target price deserve an investment. There are three companies that investors should focus on.

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO)Energy Plays

In the oil and gas refining space, analysts lowered the target price for Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) by 11.36% to $45.68. Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) is on a downward trend since peaking at $44.77 in March. The company is in the midst of completing the spinoff of its retail stores. To enhance shareholder value, the company is considering spinning off its logistics and transportation business into an MLP. MLPs, or master limited partnerships, are under fire by analysts. For example, the valuation for its ETN tracker for MLP is higher than the value of their underlying assets.

Investors are still interested in companies that convert to MLPs. Devon Energy Corp (NYSE:DVN) rose from $52 to $58 after the company said it would evaluate creating an MLP.

Gold Out of Favor

The disinterest in gold miners hurt Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM), as shares are 40% below a 52-week high. Analysts lowered their target price for Newmont by nearly 11%. When the company reported quarterly results, Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) revealed that profits fell 36%. In addition to a decline in gold production, production costs are rising uncontrollably. If gold prices do not rise, gold miners like Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) will face even lower profits in future quarters.

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