Tue, Apr. 14, 5:26 PM
- The price of oil will recover but not back to triple-digits, Citigroup says, leading the firm to recommend ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), Total (NYSE:TOT) and Statoil (NYSE:STO) while downgrading BP.
- Many companies have not left enough headroom to deal with a lower oil price environment after the hot pursuit of growth in recent years, the firm says, believing those most challenged in the new paradigm are players focused on liquefied natural gas and heavy oil, as well as most of the big oil names.
- Citi says “shale is the core of the survivors' party,” and that investors can get "good value exposure” by buying COP and DVN; self-help also will be part of surviving $60-$75 oil, pointing to TOT and STO as having the most potential.
- The firm cuts BP to Neutral because it thinks all its potential self-help has been priced into the stock.
Fri, Apr. 10, 11:26 AM
- Credit Suisse adds four companies to its U.S. Focus List, led by Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), which it sees as a pure-play energy stock that investors can feel comfortable holding for the long-term and is not pegged to the oil markets.
- The firm also likes DVN's defensive valuation, top quartile oil growth profile and further accretion possibilities from the EnLink Midstream assets; its $80 stock price target is among the Street's best outlook.
- Credit Suisse cites another energy choice, Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), for its higher multiple businesses, and believes upstream cash margins have room to move up as shale production increases and oil prices recover.
- Also added to the U.S. Focus List: JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN).
- Earlier: Dunkin' Brands tapped by Credit Suisse for new highs
Wed, Apr. 8, 7:59 AM
- Analysts at Jefferies now expect Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) to surpass Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) as the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas producer by 2018, with output of 4.2M boe/day, following Shell's $69.6B deal to buy BG Group.
- But XOM has long been rumored as a potential bidder for BG, and Financial Times points out that it now has both the motive and the opportunity, raising the possibility that it could try to outbid Shell for BG.
- Like Shell, XOM is struggling to grow and will find it easier to raise production by dealmaking than by drilling; XOM’s output was ~4.3M boe/day in 2001 and 4M last year.
- With its greater size, low debt and AAA credit rating, XOM could muster a larger cash component in any offer than Shell’s 28% of its total offer of ₤13.50/share; however, hostile deals are very rare in the oil and gas industry.
- Whether or not BG is the perfect fit for XOM, Paul Sankey of Wolfe Research has suggested other midsized E&P specialists could prove tempting, including Hess (NYSE:HES), Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), Apache (NYSE:APA) and Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC).
Tue, Mar. 31, 11:53 AM
- Devon Energy (DVN -0.2%) appears to have limited downside if oil prices remain flat and as much as 30% upside if prices rise, according to a Barron's profile.
- DVN trades at just 1.2x price-to-book value and its enterprise value to EBITDA is below four, among the lowest of its peers, the report says.
- Credit Suisse yesterday raised its 12-month price target for DVN to $80, arguing the company is "well positioned to outperform given its defensive valuation, top quartile oil growth profile, and further accretion potential from EnLink," and expects DVN’s drillbit performance to improve “given the mix shift toward the Eagle Ford, Bone Spring and Cana-Woodford programs as well as low maintenance capital required at Jackfish.”
- BMO, which also has an $80 target, views DVN's positions in the Bone Spring and Eagle Ford as two of the lowest breakeven assets in the U.S. where returns are still attractive.
Tue, Mar. 24, 4:41 PM
- EnLink Midstream Partners (NYSE:ENLK) -5.2% AH after announcing a secondary offering of 22.8M common units by a subsidiary of Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN); the underwriters also are granted an option to purchase up to an additional 3.42M shares.
- ENLK will not receive any proceeds from the offering, and the total number of outstanding common units will remain unchanged.
Mon, Mar. 23, 6:26 PM
- EnLink Midstream Partners (NYSE:ENLK) agrees to acquire the Victoria Express Pipeline and related truck terminal and storage assets in a dropdown transaction from Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) for total consideration of ~$210M.
- The deal includes $171M in cash, 338K ENLK common units and the assumption of $30M-$40M in certain construction costs to expand the system to full capacity.
- The pipeline, which became operational in Q3 2014, transports condensate from DeWitt County, Tex., to the Port of Victoria; current capacity is ~50K bbl/day, to be expanded to 90K bbl/day.
- ENLK says the transaction marks the first dropdown from DVN and expects such deals to play a significant role in its future growth.
Tue, Mar. 17, 7:12 PM
- Most of the top 15 shale oil producers in the U.S. are heavily concentrated in basins expected by NavPort to be severely affected by the decline in prices, with one major exception: ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).
- COP has the lowest well completion concentration in basins expected to suffer the greatest production cuts this year, implying less disruption than other shale competitors, according to NavPort, which collates oil well and rig data using regulatory reports.
- All 14 of the other top producers tracked by NavPort have at least two-thirds of well completion concentrated in the basins rated with "strong" or "severe" exposure: CHK, APC, EOG, DVN, SWN, MRO, APA, SD, XOM, CLR, PXD, NBL, BHP, WLL.
- Operators concentrated in basins that have been less severely affected - such as the Woodford, Utica and Haynesville basins - should enjoy more production than their peers through a higher volume of well completions, NavPort says.
- The study sees the Mississippi Lime, Granite Wash, Bakken and Permian basins suffering at least a 40% Y/Y reduction in drilling.
Wed, Mar. 11, 11:49 AM
- Whiting Petroleum's (NYSE:WLL) decision to put itself up for sale looks to be just the beginning of a potential wave of consolidation as $50/bbl prices undercut companies with heavy debt and high costs.
- The value of ~75 shale-focused U.S. producers based on their reserves fell by a median of 25% Y/Y by the end of 2014, according to Bloomberg, opening up new opportunities for bigger companies with a better handle on their debt.
- Smaller producers with significant debt that depend on higher prices to make money are the most likely early targets for buyers such as Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) or Chevron (NYSE:CVX), companies that have bided their time for years; XOM CEO Rex Tillerson suggested last week that his company is keeping its eyes open for opportunities.
- A recent analysis by Wolfe Research found the likeliest takeover candidates among major U.S. and Canadian producers included Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Apache (NYSE:APA), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) and Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC).
- WLL would be an attractive target for XOM, CVX or Hess (NYSE:HES), all of which have operations in North Dakota and would benefit from scaling up, according to a Bank of America note.
Thu, Mar. 5, 11:32 AM
Thu, Mar. 5, 11:28 AM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.5%), with $17.9B in free cash flow to end 2014, is under much less pressure to cut spending than smaller rivals, which are coming under varying degrees of financial strain amid lower oil prices; 2015 capex is being cut by 12%, a striking display of stability when compared to 30%-40% capex cuts generally announced by small and midsized E&P companies.
- CEO Rex Tillerson says being able to keep spending at rates that others can't provides XOM "a whole lot of different kinds of opportunities” in two main areas: cutting costs and acquiring assets.
- On acquisitions, Tillerson’s comment that “there really is no limitation on what we might be interested in or considering" in terms of possible deals suggests he is prepared to be ambitious.
- While a rumored bid for BP is not impossible, most analysts are doubtful due to the political sensitivities of such a deal and uncertainty about liabilities from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill; Wolfe Research's Paul Sankey thinks XOM is most interested in a U.S.-focused midsized oil company, with “key potential targets” including HES, CLR, DVN, APA and APC.
Tue, Feb. 17, 7:22 PM
- Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) +0.5% AH after Q4 earnings fail to meet Wall Street expectations, although operating revenue more than doubled and production exceeded the company's guidance.
- DVN says it is cutting its 2015 exploration and production budget by 20% from 2014, planning on capital spending $4.1B-$4.4B; however, even with reduced spending, DVN’s Y/Y oil production growth outlook remains unchanged at 20%-25%.
- Total production from DVN’s retained assets averaged 664K boe/day during Q4, exceeding company guidance range by 9K boe/day and equaling a 20% Y/Y increase; Q4 oil production was a record 239K bbl/day, exceeding the top end of company guidance range and representing a 48% Y/Y increase.
- DVN says Q4 82% growth in U.S. oil production largely was attributable to well results from the Eagle Ford assets, where production averaged 98K boe/day, double the totals in its first month of ownership in March 2014.
Tue, Feb. 17, 4:18 PM
Mon, Feb. 16, 5:35 PM
Fri, Jan. 30, 2:39 PM
- Devon Energy (DVN +2.9%) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank, which views DVN as particularly well positioned relative to large-cap E&Ps to again grow production into a firming commodity price environment.
- The firm believes DVN's 2014 asset transactions reposition the portfolio to highlight underlying growth potential, high-grade the portfolio towards fewer and key plays, and improve the cost of capital via the EnLink transaction; it also cites DVN's best-in-class hedge position.
- On the other hand, Deutsche Bank lowers Encana (ECA +1.8%) to Hold from Buy, saying ECA is more dependent than peers on the broader commodity price outlook again returning to growth; the firm believes the move to fund the Athlon acquisition with cash on the balance sheet has left ECA with significantly reduced financial flexibility.
Tue, Jan. 27, 12:58 PM
- Marathon Oil (MRO -1.3%), Cobalt International Energy (CIE -0.3%) and RSP Permian (RSPP +0.8%) are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS, as the firm cuts its 2015 Brent/WTI crude forecasts to a respective $52.50/bbl and $49/bbl, and lowers 2016 Brent/WTI crude estimates to $67.50 and $62.50.
- UBS also is cautious on several energy names with large free cash flow deficits, slowing growth profiles and rich relative valuations: COP, DVN, MUR, UPL, RRC, DNR, MHR.
- The firm's top Buys are APC, CHK and EOG.
Wed, Jan. 21, 3:59 PM
- Credit Suisse thinks it is still too early to buy E&P equities but the picture should brighten by late in Q1, when the firm suggests the time could be right to make a play for the strong balance sheets offered by the likes of Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD).
- E&P stocks historically have been highly anticipatory, the firm says, with the stocks moving ahead of crude oil, adding that the key leading indicator of U.S. drilling and completion activity is U.S. drilling permits.
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