Oil stock downgrades - and some upgrades - continue as sector is slammed

|By:, SA News Editor

Energy stocks are hammered again as oil prices tumble to fresh five-year lows, and Oasis Petroleum (OAS -16.1%), Emerald Oil (EOX -12.7%), Cobalt International Energy (CIE -10.1%) and Canadian Natural Resource (CNQ -4.8%) are slammed more than most as they suffered analyst downgrades today.

SunTrust's Ryan Otaman cuts OAS and EOX to Neutral from Buy to account for their large debt loads, while Citi's Robert Morris lowers CIE and CNQ to Neutral from Buy.

However, Morris thinks at least some stocks warrant upgrades after precipitous declines, raising Antero Resources (AR -9.1%), Apache (APA -6.1%) and Newfield Exploration (NFX -8.3%) even while acknowledging they probably will not bottom until oil does - a common view among analysts such as Raymond James' Marshall Adkins, who writes that "trying to figure out appropriate oilfield service valuations under a collapsing oil price environments is an exercise in futility."