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.
Wed, Jan. 14, 2:35 PM
- Barclays downgrades the large-cap E&P sector to Negative from Neutral and the small- and mid-cap E&P group to Negative from Positive, arguing that downside risk outweigh potential gains even if oil prices recover.
- Equity investors are pricing in WTI crude assumptions of close to $75/bbl in 2016 compared to current strip prices of ~$57, Barclays says, also noting that an abundance of relatively cheap oil supply from U.S. producers could further delay a price recovery.
- Among specific names, the firm downgrades CHK, SD, REN and HK to Underweight; DVN, CLR, KOS, MRO, RSPP and WLL are cut to equal weight.
- At the same time, Barclays picked a few favorites, upgrading Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) to Overweight from Equal Weight, and maintained Overweight ratings on large-cap E&P companies CNQ, EOG and NBL; among small- and mid-cap E&P names, the firm favors AR, CXO and XEC.
- ETFs: XOP, IEO, PXE
Mon, Jan. 12, 12:28 PM
- Wolfe Research’s Paul Sankey prefers EOG Resources (EOG -4%) as the best positioned among well exposed U.S. unconventional energy players that have the balance sheet to survive the current volatility.
- ConocoPhillips (COP -2.8%) has terrific unconventional exposure but enforced capital discipline that effectively forces the company to return cash to shareholders and shrink its size in an orderly manner.
- On Devon Energy (DVN -2.1%): "If EOG is the new Saudi Arabia of global oil, then Devon Energy is its Kuwait."
Sat, Jan. 10, 8:25 AM
- Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) tops Credit Suisse's list of its nine favorite energy and utility stocks to own for 2015, believing KMI’s recent MLP acquisitions will lower the company’s cost of capital and open the door for double-digit dividend growth and additional potential acquisitions.
- Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE) is the top pick among offshore drillers, despite the fact that analysts don’t believe the inflection point in the drilling down-cycle is coming until at least 2016; fulfilling the firm's $30 price target would mean nearly 90% upside.
- Also recommended: SUNE, EXC, RDS.A, RDS.B, TSO, DVN, PDCE, SLB.
- SandRidge Energy (NYSE:SD) is one of Credit Suisse's five energy and utility stocks to avoid despite an upbeat quarterly report, believing the risk associated with SD’s extremely high leverage likely will lead to significant capex cuts, thus limiting production growth and cash flows.
- The firm also would avoid CVRR, SFY, YGE and SO.
Wed, Jan. 7, 7:35 PM
- Energy bonds have become one of the riskiest sectors in the bond market, as the cost of buying five-year credit default swaps protecting $10M of bonds has jumped from $139K/year last June to $377K today for companies in the S&P/ISDA CDS U.S. Energy Select 10 Index.
- The index consists of 10 large major energy companies: APC, APA, CHK, COP, DVN, OTCQB:FSTO, HAL, BTU, VLO and WMB.
- Even though most of the companies boast investment-grade ratings, it now costs more to insure bonds in that index against default than it costs to insure bonds of an average junk-rated company, according to S&P.
Wed, Jan. 7, 12:39 PM
- BofA Merrill recommends that clients stay defensive on oil stocks and become more positive on natural gas names, highlighting four natural gas stocks and two oil stocks to consider.
- Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) is called a top stock to buy for possible gains in natural gas after shares have slumped 40% since July, especially with the possibility of continued harsh winter weather; the firm also likes Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) and Memorial Resource Development (NASDAQ:MRD).
- Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) and Hess (NYSE:HES) are BofA's top oil stocks to buy, and are on the firm's US1 list.
Mon, Jan. 5, 12:18 PM
- Energy stocks severely underperform the broader market, with the sector -4.2% vs. the S&P 500's -1.4%, as U.S. oil prices briefly slip below $50/bbl for the first time since April 2009; Nymex crude recently was -4.4% at $50.37, while Brent crude -5.9% at $53.08.
- Among the day's biggest losers: DNR -9%, RIG -7.6%, NBR -4.8%, CHK -5.9%, SDRL -9.1%, SD -12.3%, NOV -5.9%, PSX -6.2%, APA -5.9%, DVN -4.4%, EOG -6%, SU -5.2%, OXY -4.2%, APC -8.7%, PWE -9%, ECA -5.5%, MRO -5.3%.
- Global oil majors, which have been seen as less vulnerable to falling oil prices, are posting big losses: XOM -2.7%, COP -4.5%, CVX -3.8%, BP -5.8%, RDS.A -4.6%, TOT -6.5%.
- ETFs: USO, XLE, OIL, UCO, ERX, VDE, OIH, SCO, XOP, ERY, FCG, DIG, PBW, BNO, GASL, DTO, DBO, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, QCLN, IEZ, UWTI, PXE, USL, PXI, FENY, DWTI, PXJ, DNO, PSCE, RYE, SZO, PUW, FXN, OLO, DDG, HECO, TWTI, OLEM
Dec. 22, 2014, 10:45 AM
- Natural gas prices fall 9.5% to near two-year lows at $3.133/mmBtu, in the biggest one-day percentage loss since February and the lowest intraday price since January 2013, on mild weather forecasts and inventory that is above year-ago levels.
- Prices are now down more than 15% in three straight losing sessions and are 30% lower than the six-month high closing price of $4.489/mmBtu it hit just a month ago.
- Weather has been unseasonably warm for December, limiting demand for home heating and allowing relatively low stockpiles to catch up to where they were a year ago and encouraging traders to sell based on the belief that supply is relatively healthy.
- Gas producers are among the biggest early decliners: XOM -1.1%, CHK -7.3%, APC -2.6%, SWN -6%, DVN -2.2%, COP -2.3%, BP -1.5%, COG -4%, BHP -1.9%, CVX -1.3%, ECA -5.1%, EQT -4.3%, RDS.A -1.7%, UPL -12%, WPX -6.9%, EOG -1%, OXY -1.1%, RRC -6.1%, APA -2.3%, AR -3.2%, CNX -3%, QEP -4.8%, LINE -4.9%, NBL -1.6%, SM -2.6%, XEC -4.2%, PXD -2.9%, NFX -5.1%.
- ETFs: UNG, DGAZ, UGAZ, BOIL, GAZ, FCG, GASL, KOLD, UNL, NAGS, DCNG
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