HEARD ON THE STREET: Sector Stocks Might Have Peaked [Wall Street Journal]
Summary: Since commodity and energy prices peaked a few months ago, traders have turned their attention to speculative energy stocks with great success. WSJ looks at four up-and-comings: (1) Delta Petroleum Corp., a Denver-based driller, is up 80% over the past five months, boosting its market cap to $1.4b. (2) Goodrich Petroleum Corp., an exploration company, is also up 80% in five months. (3) Parallel Petroleum Corp, a driller, has climbed 20% in a month. (4) Uranium maker Cameco Corp., a $12b company, is up 35% over the past year. Natural gas drillers have done particularly well, rising together with NG prices since late in the summer. But some pundits see these 'investments' as "high-octane" bets on energy prices that could easily backfire if gas prices come back down. (1) Delta, for instance, lost more money ($0.13/share) this Q3 than last, meaning its rise is pure speculation on two NG wells in eastern Washington in which it has an interest. The wells are covered by a thick layer of volcanic rock, making traditional drilling tricky. (2) Goodrich is up on hopes of a new technology that enables it to drill horizontally. But horizontal drilling is expensive, and only feasible when high-enough prices warrant the extra expense. (3) Parallel players are betting on its wells in the promising Barnett Shale in Texas' Fort Worth Basin. NG exploration there, though, is in the early stage. (4) Some see Cameco as a way to bet on the continued growth of nuclear power in developing nations like China and India. Strong demand, and a lack of new production, have fuelled uranium prices in recent years. A safer play is to add some larger outfits, like ConocoPhillips, into the mix, to offset the volatility of the smaller companies.
Related links: Merrill on Integrated Energy Stocks: Stay Bullish • Horizontal Drilling by Goodrich and Devon Bode Well for Pickens’ EXCO Resources • Cameco's Selloff Is a Buying Opportunity • Preparing to Ride the Uranium Bull • Some are more leveraged to Oil than others • Cramer's Take on CCJ
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Delta Petroleum Corp. (DPTR), Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:GDP), Parallel Petroleum Corp. (PLLL), Cameco Corp. (NYSE:CCJ), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)
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