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, 3:17 PM
- Goldman Sachs upgrades a few energy stocks even as it cast a pall of gloom over most of the sector today (I, II, III), raising Chesapeake Energy (CHK -3.6%) to Buy from Neutral and Parsley Energy (PE -4.2%) to Neutral from Sell as potential "shale sale" winners.
- Despite PE's relative vulnerability to lower oil prices because of its weak balance sheet and negative projected free cash, Goldman has more confidence that its core Permian Basin position makes it an attractive M&A target.
- Among potential "shale scale" winners - companies that either can build positions in the core and reduce costs of capital - the firm's favorites remain EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) and Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO).
- However, Goldman cuts Bill Barrett (BBG -8.3%) to Sell from Neutral, seeing greater downside risk to its production in a lower oil price environment, and lowers Eclipse Resources (ECR -1.5%) to Neutral from Buy due to a persistently wide funding gap through 2017 coupled with a weak balance sheet.
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.
Tue, Jan. 6, 10:59 AM
- A warm start to winter is disappointing investors who bet U.S. natural gas producers would offer a refuge from falling oil prices, as gas futures settled at a two-year low $2.882/MMBtu yesterday after dropping 32% in 2014.
- Among the 10 worst performers on the S&P’s Exploration & Production Index since June 20 - when oil was $107.26/bbl and gas was $4.53 - seven are companies that produce more than 50% gas; since June 20, Chesapeake Energy (CHK -1.3%) has declined 37%, Range Resources (RRC -0.7%) has dropped 41%, and Southwestern Energy (SWN -1.6%) has plunged 45%.
- The gas market “looks terrible” for 2015 and “has been structurally oversupplied for years," Raymond James analyst Marshall Adkins says as he cuts his forecast for average 2015 Henry Hub gas prices to $3/Mcf from $3.65, citing normal weather that will “unmask the bearish underpinning of the U.S. gas market."
- ETFs: UNG, DGAZ, UGAZ, BOIL, GAZ, FCG, GASL, KOLD, UNL, DCNG
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
Dec. 17, 2014, 2:20 PM
- New York Gov. Cuomo's administration says it will ban fracking statewide, citing health concerns and what it considers as limited economic benefits to drilling.
- NY's acting health commissioner said at a cabinet meeting in Albany today that studies on fracking’s effects on water, air and soil are inconsistent, incomplete and raise too many “red flags” for the state to allow it; the state Department of Environmental Conservation will now issue a legally-binding recommendation prohibiting fracking.
- The state has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for more than six years, so nothing really changes with today's decision.
- Parts of New York sit atop the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation, whose top producers include CHK, RRC, RDS.A, RDS.B, TLM, APC, ATLS, COG, CVX, CNX, EQT, EOG, XOM, WPX, XCO, CRZO, SWN, AR.
Dec. 15, 2014, 10:17 AM
- Range Resources (RRC +3.4%) sets its 2015 capital spending budget at $1.3B, an 18% Y/Y decrease, while expecting to continue to deliver Y/Y production growth of 20%-25% due to improving capital efficiencies from its activities in the Marcellus Shale.
- RRC also says its Utica/Point Pleasant well in Pennsylvania achieved an average 24-hour test rate of 59M cf/day; RRC believes the initial production rate equating to a 10.9M cf/day per 1K ft. of lateral is a record for any horizon drilled in the Appalachian Basin and the highest IP rate of any Utica well.
- Separately, CEO Jeff Ventura will add Chairman to his title beginning Jan. 1, replacing John Pinkerton.
Dec. 1, 2014, 1:01 PM
Nov. 11, 2014, 2:52 PM
- Count BofA's Doug Leggate among analysts seeing an opportunity to become contrarian bullish on the energy sector, which he says is now discounting $75 oil.
- His top picks in the sector are Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) and Hess (NYSE:HES), while Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) and Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) justify another look; also, pure play gas names Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) and Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) remain Buy rated.
- On the technical side, BofA's Stephen Suttmeier notes the sector hit capitulation levels in mid-October not seen since 2002, suggesting the worst is over and energy is poised to build a base and head higher.
- Earlier: Top energy stocks may have bottomed even if oil has not, J.P. Morgan says.
Oct. 29, 2014, 5:14 PM
Sep. 30, 2014, 10:34 AM
- The positive market reaction following Encana's deal for Athlon Energy and other recent transactions may put pressure on inventory short majors and other large-cap companies to pursue M&A activity to increase their quality inventory in the U.S. onshore market, according to a UBS report.
- UBS lists six top potential targets, some of which already are swirling in the rumor mill, including Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), with its own fracking fleet and huge Midland Basin play making it a very attractive but expensive target.
- The firm's other five top M&A candidates: COG, CXO, OAS, RRC, WLL.
Sep. 18, 2014, 7:02 PM
- Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) agrees to pay a $4.15M fine for environmental violations at a western Pennsylvania site that handled natural gas drilling waste, in the largest fine the state has ever imposed on the shale gas industry.
- The violations took place at six wastewater impoundments during 2009-14; under the agreement, RRC will close five of the impoundments and upgrade two others to meet new state standards.
Aug. 29, 2014, 6:25 AM
Aug. 28, 2014, 10:58 AM
- The Marcellus region is now the world's biggest natural gas shale play, and there’s still $90B to be made by tapping the area’s reserves, according to a study by Wood Mackenzie.
- The energy consultant predicts that the top 20 operators in the Marcellus will earn nearly $86B over the life of the play after the costs of reaching the reserves; for comparison, it estimates ~$118B to be made by extracting the resources in North Dakota’s Bakken region, but most production there is higher-priced oil.
- Major Marcellus shale producers include CHK, RRC, RDS.A, RDS.B, TLM, APC, ATLS, COG, CVX, CNX, EQT, EOG, XOM, WPX, XCO, CRZO, SWN, AR.
Aug. 12, 2014, 3:09 PM
- NiSource (NI +0.1%) says its Columbia Pipeline Group will invest $1.75B to expand and upgrade its pipeline network in Ohio and West Virginia.
- The project will provide new infrastructure able to transport up to 1.5B cf/day of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to connections with U.S. Gulf coast and midwest terminals.
- NI says suppliers already are signing up to use the pipeline, which is supported by long-term service agreements with Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL), Kaiser Marketing Appalachian and former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon’s startup American Energy Utica.
- NI expects to begin construction of the line in late 2016 and begin operations in late 2017.
Aug. 5, 2014, 7:17 PM
- Natural gas production in the Marcellus region exceeded 15B cf/day in July, the most productive period ever recorded there, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
- Marcellus, located mostly in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, now accounts for nearly 40% of total U.S. shale gas production, and its rapid growth isn’t expected to ebb soon, the report says.
- New wells in the region are expected to deliver another 600M cf/day, more than offsetting decline rates, for a net production increase of 247M cf/day.
- Major Marcellus shale producers include CHK, RRC, RDS.A, RDS.B, TLM, APC, ATLS, COG, CVX, CNX, EQT, EOG, XOM, WPX, XCO, CRZO, SWN.
RRC vs. ETF Alternatives
Range Resources Corp is a Texas-based independent natural gas, natural gas liquids & Oil company engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of primarily gas properties, in the Southwestern & Appalachian regions of the United States.
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