This energy stock up 70% year-to-date still has room to the upside

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Cheniere Energy Inc (NYSEAMERICAN: LNG) has been nothing short of a rockstar in 2022 with the stock up nearly 70% year-to-date. Still, Rob Thummel (Tortoise Capital) says there’s more room to the upside.

The bull case for Cheniere Energy stock

Earlier this year, the United States committed to exporting 15 billion cubic metres of LNG (liquefied natural gas) to help offset the Russia-driven energy shortage in Europe.

Cheniere Energy sits right at the heart of that push. On CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime”, Thummel said:

Cheniere Energy is the leading LNG operator that’s one of our favourite names. It’s going to benefit from decades worth of LNG growth globally. We see a really strong free cash flow story in Cheniere Energy.

His outlook is in line with Wall Street that also recommends buying Cheniere Energy stock.

Cheniere could soon be investment-grade

In September, Cheniere Energy raised (for the third time) its full-year guidance for earnings. The Houston-headquartered firm is committed to lowering its debt as well. Thummel noted:

There’s a significant amount of cash flow and the company has been paying down debt very rapidly, getting to a level where it will likely become investment-grade very soon.

Growing dividend and the share repurchase programme are among other reasons why he’s constructive on this stock. Cheniere is also loyal to increasing its output, particularly through the “Corpus Christi Stage 3 Project” that goes live in 2025.

Other names Thummel likes in this space include Energy Transfer and EQT Corporation.   

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