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Should You Invest in the iShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (IEO)?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Energy - Exploration segment of the equity market, the iShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (IEO - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 05/01/2006.

Retail and institutional investors increasingly turn to passively managed ETFs because they offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; these kind of funds are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Sector ETFs are also funds of convenience, offering many ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Energy - Exploration is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 14, placing it in bottom 13%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $205.84 M, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Energy - Exploration segment of the equity market. IEO seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Oil Exploration & Production Index before fees and expenses.

The Dow Jones U.S. Select Oil Exploration & Production Index is a free-float adjusted market capitalization-weighted index. The Index includes companies that are engaged in the exploration for and extraction, production, refining, and supply of oil and gas products.

Costs

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts, other things remaining the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.42%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.90%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Energy sector--about 100% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Conocophillips (COP - Free Report) accounts for about 14.92% of total assets, followed by Eog Resources Inc (EOG - Free Report) and Phillips (PSX - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 67.95% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, IEO has added roughly 0.57%, and is down about -26.59% in the last one year (as of 09/10/2019). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $46.40 and $78.42.

The ETF has a beta of 1.40 and standard deviation of 25.07% for the trailing three-year period, making it a high risk choice in the space. With about 59 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

IShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, IEO is a sufficient option for those seeking exposure to the Energy ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF (PXE - Free Report) tracks Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production Intellidex Index and the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP - Free Report) tracks S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Select Industry Index. Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF has $30.23 M in assets, SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF has $1.77 B. PXE has an expense ratio of 0.65% and XOP charges 0.35%.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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