Wed, Apr. 8, 7:30 PM
- Analysts say Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) move to buy BG Group is telling potential acquirers that one of the biggest players is now confident enough to make a big play, and that the worst may be over in the big slide in oil and gas prices.
- The deal also may be the starting gun for a wave of M&A activity that oil industry observers have been predicting since crude prices started to slump in June.
- For starters, BG's U.S. shale assets likely will become candidates for divestiture after the Shell deal closes; in buying BG, Shell has made the choice to double-down on global liquefied natural gas and de-emphasize U.S. shale.
- Among the biggest players, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and BP could contemplate deals - perhaps even with each other, as has been speculated, since BP ranks among the cheapest major producers relative to estimated profit.
- BG itself could whet the appetite of XOM's Rex Tillerson, who recently said there was "no limitation" to what he might buy - but he will be especially selective after getting burned by 2010's XTO purchase.
- Companies with prime acreage in oil-rich shale fields in Texas, North Dakota and Colorado have become a lot cheaper in recent months; Anadarko (NYSE:APC), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Occidental (NYSE:OXY), Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) and Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF) are among those at topping analysts’ lists.
- Galp Energia (OTC:GLPEF) may draw interest from buyers because, like BG, it offers access to oil assets in Brazil.
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. 4, 4:29 PM
Mon, Mar. 2, 7:20 PM
- Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) have been on the rebound since a disappointing Q4 earnings report, in part because the company’s debt levels and development costs are lower than its competitors, which puts it in a strong position to weather the oil slump, according to a Bloomberg profile.
- PXD’s debt is ~1.4x a projection for its 2015 EBITDA, according to calculations by RBC analyst Leo Mariani, who says the result is ~25% lower than its competitors, including Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) and Newfield Exploration (NYSE:NFX).
- Investors are watching to see if PXD can close above the intraday low of $160.50 from Nov. 26, the last trading day before a plunge in oil prices sent shares down 11%, Miller Tabak's Matt Maley says, and that it would be a bullish technical indicator if the stock can “fill the gap.”
Mon, Mar. 2, 7:31 AM
- Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) are close to filling the Nov. 26 gap created when a plunge in oil prices sent the stock down almost 11%.
- If the stock can “fill the gap,” that would be a bullish indicator that may prompt additional buying, Miller Tabak analyst Matt Maley says.
- RBC analyst Leo Mariani notes PXD's conservative debt-to-Ebitda ratio and its "very strong balance sheet," saying it gives investors a “bigger bang for the buck” in terms of profitability than peers like Concho (NYSE:CXO) and Newfield (NYSE:NFX).
Thu, Feb. 19, 7:22 PM
- With oil prices low, now is the time to lift the 40-year ban on exporting domestic crude, says Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) CEO Scott Sheffield, maintaining that lifting the ban now would be less painful for consumers if gasoline prices were to rise.
- The differential between WTI and Brent - now ~$8/bbl - is widening, and allowing exports to narrow that spread could equate to an additional $8-$10/bbl for U.S. producers, Sheffield says, and "that extra $10 would have a tremendous impact on production, on jobs, on investment."
- The CEO believes there lawmakers would support ending the ban, but many are concerned that voters would blame the political parties if gasoline prices rise as a result.
Wed, Feb. 11, 3:58 PM
- Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD -3.9%) has been pummeled today after reporting disappointing Q4 results that missed estimates on production, earnings and cash flow, and providing weak 2015 production guidance; PXD also said it would cut 2015 capex by 45% to $1.85B because of low oil prices.
- In response, Barclays downgraded shares to Underweight with a $97 price target, saying the guidance implies that PXD would not be able to grow at an oil price of less than $70/bbl if it were not hedged.
- Most analysts maintained their Hold or Market Perform ratings but were surprised by the extent of the 2015 budget reductions; only Credit Suisse, with an Outperform rating and $170 price target, sounded optimistic, focusing on the positive rate of change in well performance, a key factor enhancing capital efficiency.
- For WSJ's Liam Denning, PXD is "pointing the way to a new - and subdued - normal for oil prices," noting that the company emphasized it would bring rigs back on and raise output if oil recovers sustainably this year.
Wed, Feb. 11, 9:13 AM
Tue, Feb. 10, 6:47 PM
- Figuring the debt markets are a bit more rational than the equity markets right now, Wunderlich analysts look to the bond market for some clues about energy investing.
- The firm finds that where Chesapeake Energy's (NYSE:CHK) debt is trading now as "quite refreshing" given the strong balance sheet the company has built, strengthening its conviction that CHK is a Best idea among oil stocks; others holding up well, it says, are financially strong names such as XEC, CXO, EGN, EOG, GPOR, MTZ, NBL, PTEN, PDCE, PXD and ROSE.
- In other cases, the debt is providing “equity-like returns” for investors who want to move out of stocks and into bonds, with the firm mentioning AREX, BBG, CWEI and NOG.
Tue, Feb. 10, 5:29 PM
- Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) says it will cut capital spending by 45% in 2015 to $1.85B amid lower oil prices and reduced margins, an announcement that comes as Q4 earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates while revenue surged 75% on strong production growth.
- PXD says it is shutting down vertical drilling in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp area and cutting roughly in half its drilling in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp and Eagle Ford Shale to 16 rigs by the end of February.
- Even with the reductions, PXD expects 2015 crude oil production to increase 20% from 87K bbl/day in 2014.
- In Q4, PXD produced 201K boe/day, up 28% Y/Y; oil production rose 39% Y/Y to 100K bbl/day.
- Says it maintained a strong year-end balance sheet with $1B of cash on hand and net debt-to-operating cash flow of less than 1x.
- PXD -0.8% AH.
Tue, Feb. 10, 4:13 PM| Comment!
Mon, Feb. 9, 5:58 PM
- Some oilfield operators have consistently shown an ability to increase production per well, so the decrease in rig count does not proportionally correlate to a change in production, says NavPort's Eric Foster, who has collated oil well and rig data.
- In a case study focusing on horizontal shale wells in the Eagle Ford basin in Texas, NavPort found that Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) was easily the most efficient fracker last year, with average boe per well during the first 180 days of production of ~142K barrels; ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) were the other two companies with 100K-plus boe/well.
- Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) showed the greatest efficiency improvement during 2014 among the top 10 Eagle Ford basin oil producers; the only producers in the top 10 showing declines in production per well were BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) and Rosetta Resources (NASDAQ:ROSE).
Mon, Feb. 9, 5:35 PM
Mon, Feb. 9, 11:46 AM
- Imperial Capital lowers its stock price target for Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD +0.6%) to $214 from $247 but praises PXD as one of the best positioned companies for creating momentum when oil prices rebound.
- The firm also likes PXD's recent decision to convert 85% of its three-way collar hedges to fixed-price swaps, as it ensures greater protection of its 2015 cash flow.
- Imperial sees PXD remaining a high-quality, low-cost, high-growth oil producer even if a two-year period of low oil prices transpires.
- The firm's lowered price target still would represent a 36% gain from present levels.
Tue, Feb. 3, 2:49 PM
- Veteran energy analyst Christopher Eades recommends a half-dozen safe oil majors, oilfield services firms and transport MLPs as the best bets to ride out the current storm - Halliburton (HAL +4%), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD +2.2%), Hess (HES +3.2%), Occidental Petroleum (OXY +2.1%), Enterprise Products Partners (EPD +1.4%) and Plains All American Pipeline (PAA +2.4%) - all companies with strong balance sheets, strong growth prospects, and healthy yield levels with no dividend cuts on the table.
- Eades says he is "more enthusiastic about MLPs than I've been in some time," as the group has essentially given up two years’ worth of gains yet cash flow fundamentals have been largely unchanged - "to me, that sounds like a good opportunity, particularly in a world still so starved for yield."
Wed, Jan. 28, 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%.
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