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It's no secret that natural gas is dirt cheap right now. The United States Natural Gas ETF (NYSEARCA:UNG) is down 56% in one year, 70% in two years, and a whopping 95% in the last five years. But you know what they say; there's always a bottom, and many believe that natural gas has already gone low enough. But as with almost everything, there are still critics who are skeptical of a true bottom.

It seems like things are looking up for natural gas, though. Just yesterday, Westport Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ:WPRT) announced that a deal was made with General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) to build natural gas engines for their vehicles. Also, earlier this month, Westport made a deal with Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) to build natural gas engines for tractors and other machinery, so it seems like natural gas is gaining popularity among some of America's top companies.

But let's not forget about the guys who get the stuff out of the ground, because without them none of this innovation would be possible. And while the following companies have been beaten up lately (though not as badly as natural gas), a rebound in natural gas is a potential catalyst to get these companies out of their slump. So without further ado, here are three independent oil and gas companies which will almost surely benefit from a natural gas rebound.

EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG)

  • Market Cap: $23.11 billion
  • Current Share Price: $85.73
  • 52 Week Range: $66.81-$119.97
  • P/E: 18.01
  • PEG: 0.76
  • Price/Book Value: 1.74
  • Operating Margin: 19.67%
  • Profit Margin: 13.18%
  • Return On Equity: 10.34%
  • Total Cash: $294.06 million
  • Total Debt: $5.01 billion
  • Current Ratio: 1.10
  • Dividend (%): $0.68 (0.80%)
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 13.00%
  • 52 Week % Change: -16.85%

(Find more stats here.)

Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN)

  • Market Cap: $22.73 billion
  • Current Share Price: $56.20
  • 52 Week Range: $50.74-$84.52
  • P/E: 4.92
  • PEG: 1.19
  • Price/Book Value: 1.01
  • Operating Margin: 44.22%
  • Profit Margin: 44.12%
  • Return On Equity: 10.48%
  • Total Cash: $7.14 billion
  • Total Debt: $10.84 billion
  • Current Ratio: 1.45
  • Dividend (%): $0.80 (1.50%)
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 6.00%
  • 52 Week % Change: -27.87%

(Find more stats here.)

Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA)

  • Market Cap: $33.22 billion
  • Current Share Price: $84.99
  • 52 Week Range: $73.04-$129.26
  • P/E: 8.01
  • PEG: 1.06
  • Price/Book Value: 1.11
  • Operating Margin: 49.36%
  • Profit Margin: 24.59%
  • Return On Equity: 15.47%
  • Total Cash: $245 million
  • Total Debt: $7.87 billion
  • Current Ratio: 1.05
  • Dividend (%): $0.68 (0.80%)
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 6.00%
  • 52 Week % Change: -29.81%

(Find more stats here.)

Looking at these statistics, it seems like these companies are due for a good rally with the help of a catalyst, which natural gas could very well be. Assuming that natural gas is the key to unlocking value for these companies, and assuming that natural gas has bottomed out, these stocks are positioned to break out of a major slump - and now may be the time to buy.

It doesn't matter how many articles you read, or experts you listen to, or gut feelings you go with, only time will tell whether or not natural gas has bottomed. But at such ridiculously low prices, it seems like the only direction for it to go is up.

Source: 3 Independent Oil And Gas Companies For A Natural Gas Rebound