Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) has been a disappointment this year, and you would think people are going to stop using oil with the price action in this name since last summer. However with WTI stuck near $100 per barrel and natural gas attempting to put in a floor near $2 I think this stock could be set for a comeback.
Halliburton has great exposure to North America where there is an oil boom underway. I believe this is a company firing on all cylinders and not getting any love in the market. Q1 earnings came right in line with guidance and beat analysts' reduced expectations.
The stock is trading at 8 times forward earnings, and historically has traded at closer 15 times earnings. Even if you take the $3.97 analysts expect the company to earn in 2013 and apply a 12x multiple you would get to $47.67. With the growth Halliburton is seeing, both domestically and internationally, I am looking for $4.50 a share in 2013.
To see what is driving Halliburton's stock a chart going back to last summer showing Halliburton compared to US Natural Gas (NYSEARCA:UNG), and US Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) is very telling. You can see the rise in oil and the fall in natural gas has left HAL to split the different between the two. I believe the stock is stuck in a tug-of-war between these two commodities. This has driven Halliburton down about 30% since last June.
As the market starts to look for ways to play a possible comeback in natural gas prices Halliburton could be one of the best. With any stabilization in natural gas prices this stock could be ready to jump, but the company is still able to capitalize on high oil prices in the meantime.
Halliburton has been stuck in a tight range of about $30 to $40 for the past six months and an even tighter $32 to $36 for the past two. It is also off about 45% from last summer's highs and currently at the lower end of its trading range. The tightening Bollinger Bands show the volatility disappearing from this name, and should be pointing to a sizable move in either direction soon. I would be looking to enter Halliburton as it comes in to the lower end of this range. I would hold this as a long-term investment, but it could be a great trade on a pop back the upper end of the range.