What happened

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) stock soared today and was up 4.8% as of 2:30 p.m. EDT. That also makes Wednesday the oil stock's best day so far this month -- it was down 10.6% through July 20 before reversing course today. A bullish analyst rating on a day oil prices inched higher was enough to send ConocoPhillips stock soaring.

So what

Energy stocks sank earlier this week when crude oil prices hit the wall after OPEC reached an agreement with allies to increase oil production. The prospects of higher oil supply coupled with a potential decline in demand if coronavirus cases rise sparked fears among investors in oil stocks, including ConocoPhillips.

Oil prices, however, have regained some of the lost ground in the past couple of days, and WTI and Brent crude were up more than 4% each today as of 2:40 p.m. EDT. Not surprisingly, energy stocks -- particularly upstream oil and gas stocks like ConocoPhillips -- were on fire today.

Workers on an oil field.

Image source: Getty Images. 

To add to the enthusiasm, KeyBanc upped its target on ConocoPhillips' stock to $69 a share this morning. That represents nearly 24% upside from the stock's Wednesday opening price.

KeyBanc is just one of the several analysts that have turned bullish about ConocoPhillips in recent weeks. Truist Securities, BMO Capital, RBC Capital, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Mizuho have already upped their price targets on ConocoPhillips shares this month, with Mizuho putting one of the highest price targets of $86 per share.

Now what

Higher oil prices wasn't the only reason ConocoPhillips shares rallied 55% in the first half of 2021. The recent Concho Resources acquisition was perfectly timed as it expanded ConocoPhillips' low-cost resource base substantially just as the oil markets started to recover. The growth prospects, combined with ConocoPhillips' focus on deleveraging and returning 30% cash from operations to shareholders in coming years, is why I recently picked it as a top red-hot energy stock to buy. I expect a strong quarterly earnings report from the company on Aug. 3, so keep an eye out.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.