Woodside shares hit a multi-year low this week, should you buy?

Is this oil and gas giant an unloved opportunity?

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The Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) share price hit a 52-week low this week, dropping to $26.99 on Tuesday. It could be a contrarian buy when resource and cyclical businesses hit lows. The Woodside share price is down around 20% in the past year, as shown on the chart below.

It's common for share prices of companies in sectors like iron ore or retail to be volatile over the years as investors react to what's happening.

As reported by my colleague Bernd Struben, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners (OPEC+) will lift production in October, with current production cuts removed by June 2025. Higher supply could result in lower prices.

But, Struben also reported earlier this week that energy prices are rebounding, with the Brent crude oil price up to around US$82 per barrel (up from US$79.62 on Friday).  

Is the Woodside share price a buy?

Sometimes, the best time to buy a cyclical share is when there are numerous negatives which are expected to stick around the foreseeable future. It's under those conditions where the share price can reach the most appealing low, making it the best time to invest.

The company is one of the region's biggest oil and gas businesses, so its scale provides it with several benefits, including solid profit margins and a sturdy balance sheet.

I like the moves by the company to improve its balance sheet further. In the last few months, the company has completed the sale of a 10% stake in the Scarborough joint venture to LNG Japan for US$910 million, and it announced the sale of a 15.1% stake in the Scarborough joint venture to JERA for US$1.4 billion.

We can't know what energy prices will do in the short term, but unlocking some of the value of its projects is wise, in my opinion. It gives the company more funding for existing projects such as Trion while also giving it a cash pile for future projects, acquisitions and/or shareholder returns.

Another recent positive for the business was that its Sangomar project achieved 'first oil', which will soon generate another stream of earnings for the company.

My verdict

With the lower Woodside share price, prospective investors can receive a larger dividend yield. The broker UBS currently projects that Woodside could pay an annual dividend per share of US$1.05, which translates into a grossed-up dividend yield of approximately 8%.

If investors are interested in Woodside shares, this could be a good time to consider investing because of its lower valuation, the high projected dividend yield and the first oil achievement at Sangomar. But, some investors may not like the company because of the fossil fuel element.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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