As Cnooc sinks on no-growth guidance, Sinopec seen as better bet

|By:, SA News Editor

Cnooc's (CEO -6.2%) loss apparently is Sinopec's (SNP +5.9%) gain, as the two Chinese integrated oil and gas companies move in opposite directions after Cnooc estimated oil production growth below its annual target for the third straight year.

J.P. Morgan is surprised Cnooc has guided almost no organic growth in 2014, and thinks the company has set itself up for a difficult 2015, where 14%-18% Y/Y organic production growth would be needed to reach the low end of the 2011-15 6%-10% target; the firm recommends SNP or PetroChina (PTR +0.2%) instead for China oil exposure.

SNP's prospects are considered rosier than Cnooc's: Its dividend yield is healthy at 5.21% vs. the 4.67% industry average, and its 9.17 P/E ratio indicates general investor expectations of higher returns in the short and medium term, if not beyond.

Also, SNP discloses that Sinopec Group (SHI) increased its shareholding via the acquisition of ~173.25M class A shares on the secondary market as of Jan. 17.