Should I buy this 6%+ yielding oil stock instead of BP or Shell?

first_imgShould I buy this 6%+ yielding oil stock instead of BP or Shell? “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Image source: Getty Images. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Roland Head Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. When Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend by 65% last year, it was the first time the FTSE 100 oil stock had reduced its payout since World War II. Shareholders (including me) got a rude awakening. Shell’s dividend wasn’t safe, after all.It was a similar story at rival BP. CEO Bernard Looney held on a little longer. But by August, BP’s payout had also been chopped.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…The only big European oil stock that has held onto its high yield is Paris-based Total (LSE: TTA), whose shares currently yield around 6.5%. Should I sell my Shell shares and buy Total for a higher yield? It’s a change I’m considering. As I’ll explain.The renewable questionOne problem facing investors in oil stocks is that environmental concerns suddenly became more urgent last year. Institutional investors are now taking an increasingly dim view of big polluters.Shell, BP, and Total have all now made significant commitments to cut their carbon emissions. All three plan to become integrated energy companies, rather than oil and gas producers. They’re all increasing their investment in renewable energy.For example, Total recently invested €2.5bn in Indian renewable group Adani Green Energy. BP has been bidding for new UK offshore wind farm licences. Shell recently bought the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging network, Ubitricity. It also owns a UK electricity supplier.I think the commitment being shown by each company is real. But I also think it’s far too soon to know how successful they’ll be. After all, they’re competing against more experienced renewable operators and established electricity producers.Why I might swap Shell for TotalThe dividend cuts at BP and Shell weren’t a complete surprise to me. Although I hoped Shell’s payout would be safe, I could see good reasons why both companies needed to cut. On balance, I think it was the right decision.The problem I have now is that Shell’s high dividend yield was my main reason for holding the stock. Although new buyers today can hope for a reasonable 4% yield from this oil stock, my purchase price was much higher than today’s share price. That means the yield on my Shell shareholding has fallen to under 2.5%, from more than 6% previously.By contrast, Total has just confirmed its policy of “supporting the dividend through economic cycles.” The payout for 2020 was held almost unchanged at €2.64 per share, compared to €2.68 in 2019.If Total’s dividend is left unchanged in 2021, then the shares offer a 6.5% yield at current levels. That’s nearly three times the yield I expect from my Shell shares this year.Which oil stock should I own?Should I sell Shell and buy Total? I haven’t decided yet. The problem is that I don’t want to overpay for shares in a sector that faces a lot of uncertainty.Although Total’s dividend yield attracts me, its shares already trade on 14 times 2021 forecast earnings. By contrast, Shell stock trades on just nine times 2021 forecast earnings.I know Shell quite well and believe the firm’s performance is likely to improve this year. I’m less familiar with Total. But the firm’s higher valuation suggests to me there’s more room for disappointment if difficulties arise.I haven’t made a final decision yet. But if I was buying an oil stock today for a new portfolio, I’d consider Total. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement.center_img Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Enter Your Email Address Roland Head owns shares of Royal Dutch Shell B. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Roland Head | Saturday, 13th February, 2021 | More on: RDSB TTA I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool.last_img read more