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Jan. 7, 2015, 3:23 PM
- Oil driller Helmerich & Payne (HP -6.5%) is the day's biggest S&P 500 loser after saying rates for its high-tech rigs have tumbled 10% Q/Q and warns of more softness ahead because of falling crude oil prices.
- "Drilling activity and spot dayrate pricing are now expected to significantly decline in the U.S.," HP says in a presentation which indicates deteriorating utilization and dayrates among land drillers is spreading farther and faster than expected.
- HP says the idle and available number of its FlexRigs has risen to 26 from 15 since Dec. 11, and sees expects to see another 40-50 FlexRigs become idle in the next 30 days from its current total of 287 but does not foresee further idling beyond that point.
- SunTrust analysts think HP’s rig count will wind up lower by the mid-30s in percentage Q/Q, cutting their 2015 EPS estimates on HP to $2.60, well below the consensus of $5.56, and slashing their price target to $56 from $70.
- Credit Suisse's James Wicklund, who offered little optimism for the oil service sector today, also slashed his estimates on land drillers HP, Nabors Industries (NBR -3.6%), Precision Drilling (PDS -2.1%) and Patterson-UTI (PTEN -3.6%) - "the result is ugly."
Jan. 6, 2015, 11:19 AM
- Craig Hodges, co-portfolio manager of the Hodges Blue Chip 25 Fund, says he is going bargain hunting in the beaten-down energy sector because he sees oil eventually rebounding toward $80-$90/bbl.
- Hodges particularly likes Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), which has dropped from $60 to the low $30s because it is a big driller in the relatively higher-priced Bakken Shale, but he expects a significant rebound when the energy sector normalizes; Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) has lost 40%-45% of its value in recent weeks, but it is a very longstanding, high-quality maker of flex rigs for drillers.
- The Hodges fund's top holding is U.S. Steel (NYSE:X), whose cost cuts since 2008 have the company structured so that its stock will surge when it enjoys a resurgence in demand; other stocks he likes for the long term include TRN, TCBI, BA.
Jan. 6, 2015, 10:37 AM
- Citigroup analyst Scott Gruber says now could be time for longer-term investors to bulk up on oil services stocks (NYSEARCA:OIH), taking the contrarian view that falling capital spending forecasts and looming bankruptcies by some E&P companies could portend that the industry’s shakeout is closer at hand.
- Meanwhile, Gruber says oil services stocks tend to stop falling as oil reaches "unsustainably low” levels, and investors appear to be through much of their selling since valuations have fallen so low.
- Oil services companies generally have been hit twice as hard as integrated oil majors during the past three months; related tickers include SLB, HAL, NOV, BHI, CAM, ESV, FTI, HP, TS, OII.
Dec. 23, 2014, 6:19 PM
- Although the energy sector led today's stock advance, a raft of companies downgraded by Global Hunter mostly took it on the chin - none more so than Key Energy (NYSE:KEG), which plunged 15% after shares were cut to Reduce from Neutral with a $1.50 price target that was reduced from $2.50.
- Also downgraded to Reduce were HERO -6.1%, NBR -3.2%, DO +1.3%.
- Lowered to Neutral were HAL +0.5%, GEOS -8.9%, HP -2.9%, BAS -2.5%, PKD -2.5%, BHI +0.6%, BBEP -0.2%, MEP +0.1%.
- Downgraded to Accumulate: PES -3.5%, PTEN -1.1%, NGLS +2.9%.
- The firm upgraded five stocks - ATW, NOV, OII, RES and SPN - all of which gained in today's trading.
Dec. 18, 2014, 5:54 PM
- Analysts say big U.S. land drillers that operate new, faster rigs are best placed to weather the downturn brought by weaker crude oil prices and could gain market share from smaller drillers with high debt levels and outdated equipment.
- Companies with considerable debt such as Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) and small private firms with less efficient rigs will scramble to keep them in operation; those with new rigs, such as Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) at Patteron-UTI (NASDAQ:PTEN), will have more leeway to negotiate lower rates with producers and keep or even expand their business.
- The top 3-4 players had 65%-70% of the most modern rigs and the oil slump gives them a chance to win market share from small firms that make up about half of the U.S. land drilling sector, RBC Capital analyst Kurt Hallead says.
- HP has a debt-to-EBITDA ratio of less than 1, PTEN's is 2.3x while NBR is 7.4x.
Dec. 16, 2014, 7:21 PM
- "Low oil prices cure low oil prices,” meaning that low oil prices will take supply off line - primarily shale oil production in North America - and eventually prices will recover; if that maxim becomes reality, then it could be time pick up select energy stocks today at cheap prices, some analysts say.
- U.S. Global Investors' Brian Hicks, who believes oil is oversold, favors Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) for its low-cost Eagle Ford acreage purchased earlier this year, solid cash flow, and significant hedges in place on 2015 production; he also likes oil services companies Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE) and Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP).
- Hodges Capital's Michael Breard likes North American oil producers that have the flexibility to shift to natural gas - where prices are more likely to hold up, he says - such as Matador Resources (NYSE:MTDR), Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK) and Panhandle Oil and Gas (NYSE:PHX).
- Deutsche Bank analysts like companies with the balance sheet strength to survive, but also the budget flexibility, asset quality and performance record to suggest they can return to growth when energy prices go back up, including Anadarko (NYSE:APC), EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Cimarex (NYSE:XEC) and Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO).
Nov. 26, 2014, 10:42 AM
- Seadrill (SDRL -19.2%) shares are plunging after the drilling contractor suspended dividend payments due to "significant deterioration" in the broader markets, and North Atlantic Drilling (NADL -13.8%) suspends its dividend because of the delay of its agreement with Rosneft as well as the weaker market.
- The move is slamming the entire sector, and Wells Fargo says that although SDRL is the first driller to cut its dividend, Diamond Offshore (DO -8.3%) and Transocean (RIG -4.7%) will "ultimately have to follow suit."
- Also: SDLP -6.6%, ESV -4.8%, ATW -4.3%, RDC -3.3%, NE -3.2%, PACD -6.5%, ORIG -2.7%, HP -1.1%, RIGP -2.5%.
- ETF: OIH
Nov. 13, 2014, 12:17 PM
- Helmerich & Payne (HP -7.2%) is sharply lower, despite setting records for revenue, operating income and drilling activity in its just concluded FY 2014.
- Q3 operating earnings for HP's U.S. land segment totaled $258M, up 9.6% Y/Y but down 4.6% from FQ3.
- HP expects to spend $1.4B-$1.7B capex in the next year, and says it is "very well prepared for any type of softening in the market."
- HP also says it entered into agreements to build and operate six new patented FlexRigs in U.S. oil and gas plays; the company has contracted 89 newbuild FlexRigs just in the past 14 months.
Nov. 13, 2014, 6:11 AM
- Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP): FQ4 EPS of $1.53 may not be comparable to consensus of $1.67.
- Revenue of $985M (+13.9% Y/Y) beats by $6.55M.
Nov. 12, 2014, 5:30 PM
Oct. 23, 2014, 3:46 PM
- Diamond Offshore's (DO +5.5%) better than expected Q3 results is providing a lift across the offshore drilling sector today: RIG +3.8%, ESV +4.1%, RDC +2.6%, SDRL +1.9%, PKD +3.6%, HP +3.1%, ATW -0.5%.
- It was a trifecta of good news for DO: Its operating profit of $0.97/share easily topped Wall Street consensus for $0.79, it announced a special dividend of $0.75/share, and a positive fleet status update included two new rigs that had found work with Hess and Petrobras extending contracts on three rigs for three years.
- However, Cowen’s J.B. Lowe is cautious, noting that while that the $400K dayrates with Hess give DO a solid backlog though a soft time in the market, "they represent a new low in leading-edge newbuild ultra-deepwater floaters in this part of the cycle.”
Oct. 20, 2014, 6:14 PM
- Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) was downgraded to Neutral/High Risk from Buy today at Citigroup, which cited a combination of disappointing exploration, further investment decision delays and increased oil price uncertainty as leading to a 10% reduction in its medium-term rig demand forecast.
- Citi believes the decline, combined with significant supply added in 2015, likely will extend the current market weakness into 2016, which could materially affect SDRL’s ability to sign and thus finance the next wave of its newbuilds; it also sees increased risk of dividend cuts to maintain the leverage ratio within covenants.
- SDRL finished flat today but most offshore drillers rose even as the firm lowered its growth estimates across the sector to reflect a slowdown in investment: ATW +3.4%, HP +3.3%, RDC +3.2%, DO +2%, RIG +1.8%, NE +1.7%, PACD +1.2%, ESV +1%.
Oct. 17, 2014, 3:17 PM
- UBS is upgrading the U.S. land drillers, believing that the selloff in the sector has been overdone, even assuming a more cautious North America environment.
- The firm stresses that buying the land drillers is partially a play on oil prices - it sees upside risk of 40%-80% if oil prices return to $90/bbl for WTI but downside risk of 25% if oil prices slide to $75 for a sustained period of time - but it says underlying industry fundamentals also are positive and the demand for pad-capable rigs will grow.
- Helmerich & Payne (HP -2.1%), Nabors Industries (NBR +1.1%) and Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN +0.2%) are all upgraded to Buy from Neutral.
Oct. 15, 2014, 3:59 PM
- Oil services companies are rising after Citigroup issued positive comments on a number of stocks in the sector.
- Baker Hughes earns a Buy rating, seen as having a strong chance of meeting EPS estimates before tomorrow's open given recent contract wins in Norway and Brazil, and the stock's valuation is "compelling."
- Among small- and mid-caps, Citi starts Patterson-UTI (PTEN +5.7%) and RPC (RES +2.3%) with Buy ratings, seeing each as likely to outperform if, as the firm forecasts, crude prices rebound and E&P companies' capital expenditures are higher than expected.
- Citi tags Schlumberger (SLB +0.5%), Halliburton (HAL +2.1%), Weatherford (WFT +1%), Superior Energy (SPN +2%) and Helmerich & Payne (HP +5.1%) with Neutral ratings.
Oct. 14, 2014, 10:55 AM
- Helmerich & Payne (HP +1.3%) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital but with a lower price target of $108 from $120.
- FBR thinks HP offers a total potential return of 40% before factoring the high probability of future dividend increases, and believes HP has become compelling by the firm's primary valuation metrics.
- FBR cuts price targets by 10%-15% for several other oilfield services stocks, including Halliburton (HAL -0.3%), Baker Hughes (BHI -0.5%), Schlumberger (SLB +0.4%), RPC ([[RES] -2%), Independence Contract Drilling (ICD +0.3%) and Tesco (TESO +0.4%).
Oct. 9, 2014, 3:43 PM
- Offshore drillers have company now that falling oil prices are hitting the shares of land drillers such as Helmerich & Payne (HP -3.7%), Patterson-UTI (PTEN -6.8%), Nabors Industries (NBR -4.7%) and Seventy Seven Energy (SSE -5%) - with good reason, Susquehanna analysts say.
- The firm views land drillers at considerable risk to estimate revisions, given high current dayrates and significant newbuild construction activity, which could be problematic if lower crude prices persist or a weaker outlook on U.S. E&P spending comes out of earnings season.
- Nevertheless, the firm finds valuations much better in land drilling for now, and it prefers PTEN and NBR at a respective 3.7x and 4.5x 2015 EBITDA.
Helmerich & Payne Inc is engaged in contract drilling of oil & gas wells for others in the ownership, development & operation of commercial real estates. Its business comprises of three reportable segments: U.S. Land, Offshore & International Land.
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