After A Successful Rally, Rex Energy Is Ready To Soar Even Higher

| About: Rex Energy (REXX)

Back on July 2nd, we released an article titled:

Rex Energy An Underdog With Plenty Of Potential and Room To Grow

The article was a full report on Rex Energy (NASDAQ: REXX) recommending the stock as a 'BUY' and signaling to investors to purchase shares at the price of $11.62. Due to overall strong performance and increased optimism around both Rex Energy and the growing region they drill in we decided to upgrade our position and offer some new changes and updated guidance on Rex.

How Has Rex Energy Actually Performed?

Since our recommendation, REXX has performed exceptionally well soaring over 39% in a 9-month period all the way to $16.11. At its peak, shares hit $17.33, a total yield of well over 50%. After further examining REXX's financial statements we are still optimistic, especially since overall numbers have improved, better positioning the company for the long-run. Below are some five reasons to continue to be bullish on Rex.

Five Reasons to Continue to Be Bullish on Rex Energy

  1. REXX's PEG Ratio improved substantially rising from 0.96 back in July 2012 to currently 0.51. This is direct proof that management's overall strategy and efficiency have been very effective positioning the company for a strong year going forward.
  2. The company has beat earnings estimates the last two quarters and as a result, consensus earnings estimates for 2013 and 2014 have increased.
  3. Three initial test results from the Utica prove to be hugely successful and big wins for Rex indicating the liquid-rich area is even more prosperous than they originally projected.
  4. As a result of all the positive feedback, strong numbers, & overall consistent performance analysts across the board have raised their price target for REXX from $16 to well over $19 a share while continuing to maintain an 'Outperform" rating on the stock. Overall 82% of the analysts watching the stock have issued a 'BUY' rating or higher.
  5. Like we have mentioned before, REXX continues to be a logical acquisition candidate for a bigger player. Why? It's due to the fact that REXX is a small cap company worth a little over $1B. However, their robust production, growth and valuable set of assets make them a very desirable company in the eyes of the big players.

What Risk Factors to Account For

REXX is not immune to everything and if there is a weakness it's the concern in their liquidity going forward especially if gas prices were to fall much lower. Investors shouldn't be all too concerned, however, as we continue to see management effectively combating this issue and in the past they have always found ways to keep production fully up and running so we have no reason to doubt that they would stop such efficient business practices now. In addition, Rex still has various assets for sale, which have helped provide a safety net if liquidity issues were to ever arise. After examining the books, it looks like REXX is in a much better financial situation now then it was just 9-months ago which is a good indicator going forward. When we first recommend Rex, the company had about three years of liquidity before they would have had to start cutting back on their drilling program or finding other sources of cash. Today's current rate shows Rex has well over four years worth of liquidity, an optimistic sign for investors and further proof of management's effectiveness.

Increased Spending Followed By Increased Expectations

Going forward expect Rex to continue to perform exceptionally well as they increase the amount of capital they're spending on production, which in return should deliver much higher revenue numbers. When talking about the successful recent tests and the future potential in the region Rex's CEO, Tom Stabley, said, "that the company believes the past results demonstrate the huge opportunity that exists for continued superior well performance in this region going forward." Stabley used these tests as a key reasoning behind the company's huge capital spending program. Rex isn't the only one increasing their spending either, as both Gulfport and Magnum Hunter Resources are following suit and spending a large portion of their 2013 capital budget on the play. With such a huge increase in capital spending, expectations are very high, as hopefully the move will prove it's worth generating significant liquids-rich growth for all three companies.

Overall Long-Term Outlook

Overall, we continue to be very Bullish about Rex Energy, anticipating huge liquids growth production coming from the Utica shale. As a result we expect REXX shares to continue to outperform their peers and as a result we are raising our original 12-month price target from $18.50 to $20 per share, a total net yield of 72% on the year and an additional 32% from the current stock price.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.