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3 Top Energy Stocks to Buy in 2022

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No question about it: Oil prices took a tumble at the beginning of the pandemic. However, last year, plenty of life breathed into the energy sector. Energy jogged to first place of all the sectors in the first half of 2021. In fact, oil prices reached their highest levels in six years. 

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But what about market dynamics in the coming year? After all, technological development, regulations, consumer preferences and investor sentiments have all caused the energy sector to shift. 

What can you expect from the energy sector, what actually makes up the energy sector and what to invest in? Full speed ahead, but a major hint: Analysts have overwhelmingly screamed “Buy!” for the sector in general.

What is the Energy Sector? 

The energy sector relates to producing or supplying energy. Companies and processes involved include the fossil fuel industry, which include petroleum industries, coal industries and natural gas industries, as well as the electrical power industry, nuclear power industry and the renewable energy industry. Let’s take a quick look at each area.

Petroleum, Coal and Natural Gas

Let’s walk through these three areas — after all, you shouldn’t invest in what you don’t understand! (Advice directly from Warren Buffett.)

  • Oil and gas drilling: Drilling for oil and gas depends on the material, the size of the hole and how deep to drill. Experts must drill a hole through various rocks, materials and layers to reach it and consider the geology and potential subsurface structure as well as the optimal drilling rig to make it happen. Petroleum refineries then change crude oil into petroleum products for transportation, heating, paving roads and generating electricity which are reconfigured into new products. Petroleum refineries break crude oil using three steps: separation, conversion and treatment.
  • Coal extraction and processing: Coal miners use two primary ways to extract coal: surface mining and underground mining. In surface mining, large machines remove the topsoil and layers of rock to expose coal seams. Underground mining occurs when coal exists underground.
  • Natural gas extraction: A large piece of drilling equipment drills through soil and rocks to reach natural gas deposits.

All three of these areas also involve distribution and sales, as well as a whole host of other functions within the industry.

  • Electrical power industry: Within the electrical power industry, three main areas are hard at work, including electricity generation, electricity transmission, electric power distribution and the sale of electric power. 
  • Nuclear power industry: use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions. Plants typically use uranium and plutonium. 
  • Renewable energy industry: The renewable energy industry typically involves alternative energy and sustainable energy companies, including hydroelectric, wind and solar. It also concerns itself with alternative fuels — specifically, the manufacture, distribution and sale. 

Top Energy Stocks for 2022

Now for the fun part. Which companies are poised to make headlines in 2022? Let’s find out.

Magnolia Oil and Gas Corporation (NYSE: MGY)

Magnolia Oil and Gas Corp., headquartered in Austin, Texas, explores and produces oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk formations in South Texas. The company prides itself on generating significant free cash flow after capital expenditures, organic production growth, high operating margins, a conservative leverage profile and reinvestment of cash flow.

A fairly new company (Magnolia was founded in 2018), it reported third quarter 2021 net income attributable to Class A Common Stock of $119.4 million — $0.67 per diluted share. Q3 net income $159.9 million and adjusted net income was $157.9 million — $0.67 per diluted share. Net cash provided by operating activities was $221.9 million during the third quarter  and free cash flow of $143.5 million.

The company had cash to the tune of $245 million on its balance sheet in Q3 and is undrawn on its $450 million revolving credit facility, with no debt maturities until 2026. Even better, it has no plans to up its debt levels.

Its clear path forward and burgeoning business means Magnolia Oil and Gas Corp. could ramp up the excitement level in your portfolio.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG)

EOG Resources Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, explores, develops, produces and markets crude oil and natural gas. The company operates through the United States, Trinidad and Tobago and in other international segments. It has introduced a “Double Premium” drilling model, which means it can tap thousands of drilling locations and produce more output that lasts longer. 

EOG Resources generated $1.6 billion of free cash flow in 2020, which both paid the dividend and rectified its balance sheet, even though oil prices averaged less than $40 per barrel, according to the company’s website.
For dividend investors: The company also increased regular dividend 82% to an indicated annual rate of $3 per share in Q3 2021 and declared a special dividend of $2 per share. 

The company earned an adjusted net income of $1.3 billion, or $2.16 per share, and generated $1.4 billion of free cash flow.

The company’s strong earnings and free cash flow as well as extended track record of reliable execution and savvy capital expenditures, operating costs and product prices may make EOG resources a gem for your portfolio.

Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE ARCA: XLE)

You don’t have to look any further than the Energy Select Sector ETF fund, an ETF that tracks an index of energy companies in the S&P 500, to see the success of the energy industry. As the ETF throws large energy companies into the mix from various sectors within the sector, you can enjoy wide exposure and a diversified reach. 

The Energy Select Sector ETF invests in some giants: ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG) and Schlumberger Ltd (NYSE: SLB)

With a market capitalization of $31.97 billion and current rocketing success, it’s worth your while to consider this monster instead of trying your hand at stock picking.

Ready to Buy Energy?

Only time will tell how many surprises the energy industry has in store for us in 2022. However, who wants to mess with a good thing, especially since energy investors have had precious little to celebrate over the past few years? Get ’em while they’re hot!

Startups

Better together: Offsetting cybersecurity’s labor challenges with API integrations

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The labor challenges afflicting cybersecurity teams far and wide are no secret. A razor-tight hiring market coupled with surging demand and an accelerating threat landscape has created a perfect storm of complexity, resulting in a widening skills gap that is driving higher levels of burnout and human error across the sector. In fact, Verizon’s independently commissioned 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 82% of breaches today involve some degree of human error. Whether it’s an unsuspecting end user or a bleary-eyed analyst, the vulnerabilities caused by cognitive overload shouldn’t be overlooked.  

Take the recent high-profile Uber data breach. A malicious actor, posing as an internal IT administrator, used digital collaboration channels to trick an Uber employee into giving up their VPN credentials, leading to a total compromise of the rideshare giant’s network infrastructure. The breach exemplified the consequences of a social engineering attack targeting the always-on hybrid workforce. And with the rate of such attacks accelerating in volume and velocity, it’s clear that more visibility of these threats is needed for security teams to effectively remediate them.

Many organizations are investing in a plethora of new, best-in-class security products in response to staffing shortages. However, reactive patchwork spending on the industry’s latest niche products shouldn’t be viewed as the answer, as the tool sprawl often creates additional complexity that hurts organizations more than it helps. Enterprises, on average, have 60 to 80 different security monitoring tools in their portfolio, many of which go unused, underutilized or forgotten. Forcing security teams to master a myriad of tools, consoles and workflows shifts priorities from managing risk to managing technology.

An integrated cybersecurity framework

The companies best positioned to offset cybersecurity’s labor challenges are those adopting best-of-breed security tools and platforms that offer a deep library of API and third-party integrations. Above all, an integrated framework empowers organizations to effectively navigate their unique environments by consolidating tools and reducing human error through the following three processes:

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  • Improved protection via security intelligence and threat sharing: This enables rapid recognition and response to incoming threats via machine learning analytics tools, strengthening a human analyst’s ability to formulate swift and comprehensive cyberdefense measures.
  • Improved efficiency via automation: This enables offloading of repetitive and mundane manual tasks to AI-enabled tools, streamlining human workflows by accelerating and improving key facets of incident response and vulnerability management.
  • Improved prevention via sharing and consolidating tool data: This enables complete, real-time visibility into an organization’s entire security environment to promote the creation of targeted alerts that uncover unknown threats.

In collaborating with a wider range of security vendors, organizations leveraging API integrations benefit from the combined knowledge of all integrated platforms to greatly improve overall security posture. The extensive access to timely threat intelligence allows security teams to align prevention, investigation and response plans across multiple security controls, as well as increase the speed of their detection and remediation efforts.

Amid the widespread adoption of cloud-based hybrid work environments, it’s increasingly clear that organizational security architectures must consist of scalable, tightly integrated solutions that combine the right balance of automated prevention, detection and response capabilities to effectively protect data across its lifecycle.

Enhancing detection and increasing cybersecurity efficacy

An open API integration framework is the embodiment of unlocking strength in numbers. It stitches together the critical functions and processes performed by foundational security tools — email security, endpoint security, web security, NDR, data security — into a single meshed framework that operates in unison and shares centralized threat intelligence data across its ecosystem. By connecting all the pieces of the puzzle, organizations gain the resources to enhance their prevention and detection capabilities in complex environments.

In one scenario, an API framework could enable automated processes to continuously flow between an email gateway and security service edge (SSE) to corresponding SIEM/XDR systems. This would allow security teams to share rich logging, metadata, indicators of compromise, malicious URLs, user activity, data movement and machine learning analytics in real time. The AI-powered SIEM platform automates the analysis of that threat data, sifting through the noise to generate actionable alerts with contextual information for security teams. Meanwhile, the real-time contextual insights provide simplified guidance for analysts to alleviate potential threats and, if needed, formulate a swift response to an attack.

With access to a wider range of threat data touchpoints, cybersecurity teams can also create customized scripts within the overarching API library. This gives them “targeted capabilities” that more directly align with their specific needs and skillsets. For instance, the team could create a script that simultaneously analyzes email security logs from Vendor A, data protection logs from Vendor B, web security click logs from Vendor C, and spam filter logs from Vendor D, based on which intel is most relevant to their specific use case. Filtering the exceedingly high volumes of incoming alerts enhances the efficiency of the entire team, empowering analysts to identify needles in the haystack by prioritizing the right alerts at the right times for maximized protection.

Automating manual processes and workflows

Despite the growing number of innovative, best-in-class products available on the market today, it’s important to remember that a multi-vector social engineering attack is exceedingly difficult for hybrid security teams to combat regardless of the tools in their stack. Quick and agile responses are non-negotiable in these situations, but with resources stretched thin and employees working from multiple locations, executing swift corrective action free of human error is easier said than done. Even the most experienced and skilled security teams are susceptible to mistakes while trying to remediate an attack. Therefore, identifying how to automate well-defined processes wherever possible is imperative for tightening these response durations and ensuring security teams can remediate quickly and effectively.

With access to an open API library, organizations can integrate the capabilities of additional AI/ML security tools into their existing security architecture to automate the repetitive steps of protection, detection, response, mitigation and intelligence sharing. Whether it’s informing an endpoint security provider of an emerging alert, or securely moving data from one storage solution to another, API-driven automation can handle the routine, error-prone tasks cybersecurity teams perform every day. Streamlining these otherwise human-centric workflows allows overstretched analysts to instead focus on more critical threat assessments requiring extensive time and attention. That, on a macro level, strengthens the security posture of the greater organization.

There’s no magic bullet that will completely reverse cybersecurity’s labor challenges in the immediate future. But there are proactive steps organizations can take now to provide the critical support their security teams need today. For effectively navigating a complex threat landscape, there’s no better place to start than with the applied adoption of a deep API integration framework.

After all, cybersecurity is a team sport. Why defend alone when you can defend together? 

Joseph Tibbetts is senior director for tech alliances and API at Mimecast.

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It’s foie gras season in unicorn land • TechCrunch

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W

elcome to the TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s inspired by the daily TechCrunch+ column where it gets its name. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.

With most startups getting repriced behind closed doors, we love getting data that gives us a glimpse of what’s going on. This week, our new information comes from EquityZen, which shared insights on secondary stock sales. EquityZen also put up a few IPO predictions that gave us food for thought. Let’s explore. — Anna

A glimpse of repricing

How do you know when a unicorn has lost its billion-dollar valuation? Usually you only find out long after the fact, when — and if — the company raises a down round that makes it clear that its equity valuation is no longer in the unicorn realm.

The thing is, not many founders want to advertise that they have raised capital at a lower valuation than their previous round; in most cases, they just won’t disclose their new valuation.

As market observers, this leaves us with little data on a topic that our readers do care about: What kind of repricing they could expect. This is why we were grateful for Instacart, which made it public that it reduced its valuation through a 409A price change. This wasn’t good news, but it was a helpful data point for everyone involved. However, that was back in March.



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This Top-Rated PDF Solution Is 66% Off Now

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Paper has made its way largely out of business, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still work with documents regularly. Instead, we’re just working with them differently: with the dreaded PDF. These static files can be great if you’re positive that a document is ready, but a serious nightmare when you have to make changes. When you’re working with a lot of PDFs, you need a quality digital solution.



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UPDF Pro is one of the top-rated PDF solutions on the market. Geeky Gadget writes, “UPDF is a potent PDF editor and PDF converter designed to stay up with advanced technologies. It ensures that whichever features you use are up to date. UPDF not only converts PDF to Word but can perform many advanced editing.” Fossbytes adds, “UPDF doesn’t have a boring interface like other PDF software. The design is stunning and eye-catching. On top of it, it is convenient to use. You wouldn’t be bothered with a complex design that is very time-consuming.”

These are just the tip of the iceberg of positive reviews for this all-in-one PDF solution for individuals and businesses. With it, you can edit any PDF document across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, adding or deleting text, editing fonts and color, and much more. The tool allows you to add, crop, rotate, replace, extract or delete images, watermark documents, and password-protect them for elevated confidentiality. You can also easily annotate PDFs, highlight, underline, or strike out text, add shapes and notes, and much more. Finally, it’s even easy to convert any PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a ton of other file types in just a click.

Working with PDFs has never been easier than with a lifetime subscription to UPDF Pro. Grab it on sale for 66% off $149 at just $49.99, the best price you’ll find online.

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URGENT: CYBER SECURITY UPDATE