Goldman upgrades underperforming Occidental Petroleum, sees it cashing in on higher oil prices

Occidental Petroleum
Jay L. Clendenin | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Occidental Petroleum should be able to catch up to other energy companies as higher oil prices help the exploration company pay down its debts, according to Goldman Sachs.

Energy stocks have rallied since early November as the U.S. economic recovery picked up, but Occidental has lagged despite rising 46% in 2021. Goldman pointed out that the stock has underperformed its sector year to date and dramatically since its 2019 acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum.

Analyst Neil Mehta upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, saying in a note to clients on Thursday that the gap between Occidental and its competitors was too wide.