Can Energy Sector ETFs Diverge From Crude?

Additionally, some energy observers remain optimistic, pointing to renewed promises from oil companies that they won’t cut dividend payouts.

“The only features they have to attract investors is predictable growing dividend distribution,” Oppenheimer & Co analyst  Fadel Gheit, told the WSJ, adding that if dividends aren’t maintained, then “the knife will come down very sharply.”

Oil majors have been raising dividends this year, despite earnings declines. For example, in the first nine months of the year, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and BP have handed out almost $28 billion to shareholders, or about a 10% increase from the 2014 period, reports Sarah Kent for MarketWatch.

XOM makes up 16.9% of XLE , 23.4% of IYE and 15.7% of IXC. CVX accounts for 13.1% of XLE, 11.9% of IYE and 8.0% of IXC.

The energy sector is generating some pretty attractive yields. XLE shows a 2.92% 12-month yield, IYE has a 2.88% 12-month yield and IXC has a 3.31% 12-month yield.

iShares Global Energy ETF

For more information on the energy sector, visit our energy category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.