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Dec. 11, 2015, 11:46 AM
- Investors should buy oil services stocks with exposure to onshore oil production on weakness going forward, Citi analyst Scott Gruber says in "a deliberately early call."
- Onshore oil businesses are set to recover because OPEC does not appear able to meet global demand after 2016, Gruber says, adding that the rally in the companies likely will be "powerful" when it arrives.
- Gruber continues to name Halliburton (HAL -1.7%) and Baker Hughes (BHI -4.7%) as his top picks, but he also believes small and mid-cap names in the sector will rally; he upgrades C&J Energy (CJES -4.8%), Nabors Industries (NBR -3.2%), Patterson-UTI (PTEN -2.2%), Superior Energy (SPN -3.8%) and Weatherford (WFT -6.2%) to Buy from Hold, and raises Helmerich & Payne (HP -2%) and National Oilwell Varco (NOV -1.4%) to Neutral from Sell.
Nov. 30, 2015, 2:23 PM
- The "lower for longer" consensus on crude oil prices is overly conservative, and prices will begin bouncing back next year, Guggenheim analysts say as they upgrade the oil services sector to Buy and see plenty of upside for the major players given current market conditions.
- Guggenheim is calling for oil prices to return to $100/bbl by 2018, and sees 10% upside across the board for oil services stocks in the next year resulting from the group's unique exposure to crude prices.
- Within the group, the firm prefers Rowan (RDC +1.8%) and Atwood Oceanics (ATW +1.6%), as their backlogs should help reduce near-term risk, RDC has no newbuild commitments and ATW is finalizing a contract in Brazil for one of its two uncontracted rigs, utilization in the Middle East (NYSE:RDC) and Australia (NYSE:ATW) should be resilient on a relative basis, and both have fleets that make them more interesting M&A candidates.
- Upgraded to Buy from Neutral: CAM, RIG, NE, OII, PACD, DO, ESV, CLB, OIS, HP, NBR, CRR, NOV, DRQ, FI, PTEN, SSE, FTI, CJES, FET, SPN.
Jul. 27, 2015, 12:57 PM
- Patterson-UTI (PTEN -2.7%) is downgraded to Accumulate from Buy with an $18 price target, cut from $27, at Global Hunter, which calls into question the timing and trajectory of a North American onshore recovery due to the more uncertain E&P spending outlook.
- Hunter says it still believes onshore service activity is bottoming, and favors PTEN's positioning relative to peers, but it expects investors will focus on 2016, and the firm's EPS estimate for 2016 is 18% below consensus.
- While the firm believes activity levels likely have stabilized, it assumes a more moderate slope to the recovery in both contract drilling and pressure pumping.
Jul. 17, 2015, 11:32 AM
- Offshore drillers are significantly underperforming the broader market following cautious commentary from Schlumberger (SLB -0.1%) despite its Q2 earnings beat, a contract termination and an analyst downgrade.
- On its earnings call this morning, SLB said it expects little improvement in pricing levels in the near future and declines in activity for offshore drillers, while land rigs provide a more attractive opportunity and better margins.
- For its Q3, SLB foresees a further 5%-6% decline in Q/Q revenue as well as lower EPS, and says the $0.77 consensus is a realistic number.
- Yesterday, ConocoPhillips (COP -1.8%) said it plans to cut future deepwater exploration spending, particularly in its operated Gulf of Mexico program; in light of the decision, COP is terminating a contract for an Ensco (ESV -4.9%) deepwater drill ship.
- Also, UBS today downgraded National Oilwell Varco (NOV -1.5%) to Sell from Neutral.
- SDRL -6.4%, RIG -4.7%, RDC -6%, DO -3.3%, ATW -4.2%, HP -1.2%, PTEN -1.2%, PACD -5.7%.
May 26, 2015, 3:58 PM
- Land drillers Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN -6.1%), Nabors Industries (NBR -6.1%) and Weatherford (WFT -2.7%) are downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA, based on its belief that oil prices remain vulnerable.
- CLSA describes the advancement of unconventional drilling and completion as one of the most disruptive technologies in oilfield history, an achievement that likely will derail the normalization of a cycle and trigger a number of structural consequences; the firm says it favors maintstays such as Halliburton (HAL -1.1%) and Schlumberger (SLB -1.4%) "that have and will continue to facilitate the change, not those that will be impaired by the change."
May 11, 2015, 11:49 AM
- It's time to "take profits and... a summer vacation" in onshore oil services stocks such as National Oilwell Varco (NOV -2.8%), Weatherford International (WFT -2.7%), Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN -3.7%) and RPC (RES -4%), Citigroup's Scott Gruber says.
- The onshore service stocks are discounting at least 400 horizontal rigs returning to service, yet quick-to-market tight oil means supply concerns likely will manifest as soon as the rig count begins to rally, the firm says.
- Citi downgrades NOV to Sell from Neutral given risk of backlog cancellations, continued EPS compression and valuation, and believes a recovery multiple is not warranted for the stock until backlog growth resumes; the firm also cuts RPC to Sell, reiterates its Sell rating on Helmerich & Payne (HP -2%), and lowers WFT and PTEN to Neutral from Buy.
May 7, 2015, 11:59 AM
- UBS says it's time to buy the big three names in land drilling - Helmerich & Payne (HP -2.6%), Nabors Industries (NBR -4.2%) and Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN -2.6%) - as they take market share from the weaker companies while lower oil prices wash out the weaker hands.
- The firm also notes the group is not taking the public relations beating that some of the fracking giants are from the likes of David Einhorn.
- The three companies are taking it on the chin today, but they recently reported better than expected Q1 results on improved rig revenues, even as revenues typically fell due to reduced rig activity.
Feb. 5, 2015, 2:26 PM
- Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN +4.4%) enjoys solid gains after Q4 earnings more than tripled from the same quarter last year and revenue climbed 37% Y/Y to $901M.
- Still, the land rig provider warns that 2015 will be "challenging," having received indications that customers could terminate a number of longer-term contracts early.
- PTEN says it plans to reduce 2015 capital spending by 29% to $750M, cutting its construction schedule in half to 16 new high-tech APEX rigs; it adds that headcount "decreased at a slightly higher rate," without providing additional details.
- PTEN's decision mirrors rival Helmerich & Payne's announcement last week that it would halve its FlexRig construction program, cut 2K jobs and reduce spending by 16%.
- Expects revenue from its pressure-pumping business to fall by 25% Q/Q, hurt mainly by weak prices and lower utilization of its rigs, after rising 70% Y/Y to $397.7M in Q4.
Jan. 28, 2015, 3:59 PM
- 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
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."
Dec. 18, 2014, 9:59 AM
- RBC recommends increasing weightings and exposure to oil service stocks (OIH +2.5%) heading into 2015, as it says oil prices will start to improve in H2 of next year and that oil service stocks typically discount this move by 6-9 months.
- Down cycles such as 2000-02 and 2008-09 suggest North American land drillers and service companies provide the best returns off business cycle lows, RBC says as it expects a similar dynamic this time.
- RBC upgrades Key Energy (KEG +24.6%) and Superior Energy (SPN +7.5%) to Outperform, and downgrades FMC Tech (FTI +1.8%), Franks (FI +4.9%), Oceaneering (OII +0.2%) and Oil States (OIS +2.3%) to Sector Perform; the firm also says since 1985 three of the top five performing stocks off lows have been Patterson-UTI (PTEN +6.6%), Precision Drilling (PDS +4%) and Nabors (NBR +7.2%).
Oct. 27, 2014, 8:55 AM
- Goldman Sachs lowers its ratings on the oil services sector (NYSEARCA:OIH) to Cautious from Attractive and downgrades several specific stocks as it cuts its 2015 oil price forecast.
- U.S. land activity will suffer the biggest impact of the lower price deck, Goldman says, with customer capital spending expected to decline 6% next year vs. its prior outlook for a 9% increase; as a result, the firm now forecasts the horizontal U.S. rig count to fall 7%, or ~200 rigs, over the next 12 months.
- Goldman downgrades Parsley Energy (PE -3.8% premarket), Diamond Offshore (DO -1.5%), Laredo Petroleum (LPI -9%) and Basic Energy Services (BAS -6.2%) to Sell with sharply lower price targets; Patterson-UTI (NASDAQ:PTEN), Pioneer Energy (NYSE:PES) and Emerge Energy (NYSE:EMES) are cut to Neutral.
- The firm adds Oceaneering (OII -0.3%) to its Conviction Buy list; it also removes Halliburton (HAL -1.5%) from the list but maintains its Buy rating on the stock.
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. 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.
Jun. 6, 2014, 2:24 PM
- Patterson-UTI (PTEN +2%) is higher on news of a deal with an unidentified privately-held company to acquire pressure pumping operations in east Texas, including 31.5K horsepower of hydraulic fracturing equipment.
- PTEN says the purchase provides it with a new base of operations to support drilling programs, supplementing its existing operations in the Permian Basin as well as the Eagle Ford and Barnett shale formations; PTEN also has a significant presence in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in the eastern U.S.
Mar. 17, 2014, 12:25 PM
- Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN +4.3%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a new $37 price target, up from $28.50, at Goldman Sachs on expectations for higher onshore pricing in North America that should help PTEN reach margin targets.
- Goldman says it is adding PTEN, the second largest land driller and premier Marcellus and Permian pressure pumper, to its Conviction Buy list given its price increase forecast for drilling rigs and pressure pumping; Halliburton (HAL +2.3%), the leading U.S. pressure pumper, already is on Goldman's list.
Patterson-UTI Energy Inc is a provider of contract services to the oil and natural gas industry. It operates in three segments namely contract drilling services, pressure pumping services, and oil and natural gas exploration and production.
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