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Energen Corp (NYSE:EGN) shares have been pumping out great returns for the last two years, advancing behind continued growth in the company's earnings. As a holding company for other energy companies, Energen has provided itself with more diversification and stability, a quality that is paying-off right as some energy companies have suffered losses on the heels of crude's decline.

Energen Corp. is a holding company of other oil and natural gas exploration companies in the United States. The company was founded in 1929, carries a market cap. of $4.92 billion and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

First-Quarter Results

Energen is getting ready to report its second-quarter earnings on July 23, and if the company's performance last quarter is any indication, shareholders should be pleased.

The company reported solid first-quarter earnings on Apr 24 that included revenue growth of 5% from last year, boosting the total to $521.6 million. Net income jumped more than 12%, coming in at $116.7 million compared to $103.9 million in the same period last year.

Excluding a one-time gain of $6.4 million, earnings totaled $1.53 per share, one penny short of analyst estimates. Previous to this narrow miss, Energen had surprised and beaten analyst estimates over the last three quarters by an average seven cents, or 8.09%.

Strong Earnings History

Excluding a one-time gain of $6.4 million, earnings totaled $1.53 per share, one penny short of analyst estimates. Previous to this narrow miss, Energen had surprised and beaten analyst estimates over the last three quarters by an average seven cents, or 8.09%.

Estimates Continue To Rise

In accordance with higher energy prices, analysts have continued to upgrade their earnings projections for Energen. The current-year estimate is up to $4.58 from $4.43 90 days ago.

"As I'm sure you are well aware, oil and gas market prices have surged," James McManus, Chairman and CEO noted. "We have capitalized on this upward momentum over the past six months by strengthening our hedge position for 2009 and 2010 production; in this way, we are helping lock in earnings and cash flow growth for the next several years."

The Chart

Shares of ENG have been in an awesome up trend for the last two years, in which the stock price has more than doubled. As the stock price has surged, so have the company's earnings. As it stands, this stock still looks like a great by, carrying a forward P/E multiple of 14.8X, a small discount to the over all market. Take a look at the chart below.

 

Source: Energen: Analysts Continue to Upgrade Projections