Pioneer Energy Services: Icahn Protégé Takes Aim
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- Moody's downgrades five more oil and gas names, all with negative outlooks, but shares are unaffected amid a strong showing today in the energy sector:
- Helmerich & Payne (HP +5%) to Baa1, citing significantly decreasing cash flow resulting from the collapse in U.S. onshore drilling activity.
- Nabors Industries (NBR +0.6%) to Ba2, expecting high business and financial risks in a persistently weak global rig market, causing material degradation in credit metrics through 2017.
- Parker Drilling (PKD +0.1%) to B3, reflecting the challenging outlook for land drilling and rentals tools businesses in North America.
- Pioneer Energy Services (PES +16.5%) to Caa3, driven by the material deterioration in credit metrics through 2015 and expectations of continued deterioration through 2016.
- Precision Drilling (PDS +11.9%) to B2, reflecting lower cash flow and weak leverage resulting from the collapse in drilling activity.
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- While Deutsche Bank analysts see oil poised for a modest recovery, they nevertheless downgrade Pioneer Energy (PES -8.1%) and Precision Drilling (PDS -3.7%) to Hold from Buy, believing that some of the traditional early cycle winners - specifically land drillers - will trade up in the near-term but the strong earnings recovery required to justify such a move will disappoint.
- But the firm does not think investors should avoid all oil services stocks, saying well service companies such as Basic Energy Services (BAS -2.8%) and Key Energy Services (KEG flat) could be the biggest beneficiaries, actually helped by a more cautious environment in which operators can generate high returns and quick paybacks by enhancing production from existing wells.
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- Energy stocks are broadly lower as Nymex crude oil futures fell another $1.68/bbl (-3.6%) to $44.53 after today's inventory report showed the largest weekly supply buildup since 1982, but drilling contractor are whacked with especially large losses.
- Examples: NBR -11.7%, PTEN -8.6%, PES -10.9%, PDS -12.3%, KEG -6.5%; Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP), which reportedly has launched a round of steep layoffs, -6.3%.
- Among independent producers: DNR -9.7%, NFX -4.6%, SM -8.6%, SGY -10%, SD -9.7%, EOG -5.3%, PXD -6.8%, QEP -6%, APC -4.2%, XEC -3%.
- ETFs: XLE, ERX, VDE, OIH, XOP, ERY, FCG, DIG, GASL, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, IEZ, PXE, PXI, FENY, PXJ, RYE, FXN, DDG
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Pioneer Energy Services Corp. provides contract land drilling and production services to independent and major oil and gas exploration and production companies. The company operates its business through two segments: Drilling Services and Production Services. The Drilling Services segment... More
Sector: Basic Materials
Industry: Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Country: United States
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