The performance of energy stocks is clearly related to the price of oil. The attached chart, based on thirty years of data, compares the price of Chevron (relative to the broad market) with the inflation-adjusted price of crude oil. Based on this data set, Chevron will outperform the market if oil prices increase from here. If oil trades lower, Chevron has roughly equal odds of beating the market. From an options perspective, then, we have a reasonably-attractive payoff profile.

This is not to say that Chevron is “dirt” cheap and cannot get cheaper… just that the market is finally doing a thorough job of discounting Chevron (and its kind) to $40-something oil.

Chevron