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Interested in oil & gas drilling stocks? For ideas on where to search, today we focused on small cap companies that have strong projected growth ahead. We narrowed our search to companies that industry analysts consider to be 'Buy' worthy. We came up with a short, but intriguing list of companies worth studying more.

EPS growth (earnings per share growth) illustrates the growth of earnings per share over time. The 1-Year Expected EPS Growth Rate is an annual growth estimate, where the growth projections are made by analysts, the company or other credible sources.

We first looked for small cap oil & gas stocks. We then screened for businesses that analysts rate as "Buy" (2 < mean recommendation < 3). We then looked for companies that have high future earnings per share growth forecasts(1-year projected EPS Growth Rate>25%).

Do you think these small-cap stocks deserve to trade higher? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

1) Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc. (NYSE:BCEI)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$593.38M
Beta:-

Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc. has a Analysts' Rating of 1.90, and a 1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 67.30%. The short interest was 2.28% as of 06/21/2012. Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and natural gas company in the United States. It primarily engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of onshore oil and natural gas assets in southern Arkansas of the Mid-Continent region; and the Wattenberg field and North Park basins of the Rocky Mountain region. The company also owns and operates oil producing assets in the San Joaquin Basin of the California region.

2) Forest Oil Corp. (NYSE:FST)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$814.97M
Beta:1.51

Forest Oil Corp. has a Analysts' Rating of 2.20, and a 1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 69.23%. The short interest was 12.10% as of 06/21/2012. Forest Oil Corporation, an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in the United States. The company primarily has interests in the properties in the Texas Panhandle; the east Texas/north Louisiana; and the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas. As of December 31, 2011, its total estimated proved oil and gas reserves were approximately 1,904 billion cubic feet equivalent. The company was founded in 1916 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado with an additional office in Houston, Texas.

3) Gran Tierra Energy, Inc. (NYSEMKT:GTE)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$1.26B
Beta:1.16

Gran Tierra Energy, Inc. has a Analysts' Rating of 1.80, and a 1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 43.14%. The short interest was 1.00% as of 06/21/2012. Gran Tierra Energy Inc., an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil and gas properties in Colombia, Argentina, Peru, and Brazil. As of December 31, 2011, the company's acreage included 3.5 million gross acres covering 21 exploration and production contracts in Colombia.

4) Comstock Resources Inc. (NYSE:CRK)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$739.45M
Beta:0.92

Comstock Resources Inc. has a Analysts' Rating of 2.20, and a 1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 350.70%. The short interest was 28.73% as of 06/21/2012. Comstock Resources, Inc. engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company's oil and gas operations are primarily located in east Texas/north Louisiana, south Texas, and west Texas, as well as in New Mexico, Kentucky, and the Mid-Continent region. It owns interests in approximately 1,711 producing oil and natural gas wells, as well as operates 974 of those wells.

5) Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:GDP)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$528.02M
Beta:1.10

Goodrich Petroleum Corp. has a Analysts' Rating of 2.20, and a 1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 290.90%. The short interest was 31.54% as of 06/21/2012. Goodrich Petroleum Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. The company holds interest in Eagle Ford Shale and Buda Lime formations in south Texas; Haynesville Shale and Cotton Valley Taylor Sand in northwest Louisiana and east Texas; Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi; the Midway field located in San Patricio County, Texas; and the Garfield Unit in Kalkaska County, Michigan. It owns working interests in 401 producing oil and natural gas wells located in 29 fields in five states.

*Company profiles were sourced from Finviz. Financial data was sourced from FinViz.

Source: 5 High Growth Small-Cap Oil & Gas Stocks That Analysts Recommend