Across the board, 2013 has already been a strong year for oil and natural gas companies and we’re only five months into the year! What we have seen is that many of these oil and natural gas stocks have already made double digit gains on the year alone. This is one of the main reasons we have decided to focus this week on getting you invested in the right energy stocks. When it comes to energy stocks, all we have been seeing is huge gains across the board and that’s why we believe this is a great time to invest in the energy sector. More importantly, we believe American based energy companies are set to produce some of the biggest returns over the next few years as there is a lot of speculation that we are entering an American Energy Boom that will propel these stocks higher.
Throughout the week, we are going to be focusing the majority of our articles on the energy sector and the best ways to invest within that sector. The article you are about to read right now is the first part to a two part article series where we will be offering our 10 Favorite Energy Stocks. Below are our first five energy stocks:
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) Projections: +57.2%
A little over 19 months ago, we first recommended investors to BUY Halliburton as we saw it as a strong long-term investment. During those long 18 months, we unfortunately have nothing to show for it as shares are now trading at the same levels of where they were when we first initially invested. Our timing for HAL was originally wrong as we invested at the wrong moment as shares fell over 40% in the first 9 months due to falling oil prices and overall weakness in our global economy. Since then however, HAL has recovered quite nicely as shares are up +27% over the past 6 months and up +40% over the course of the past year as share prices are now back to where they were when we first initially invested. Fundamentally we still like Halliburton for all the same reasons, read our original article to find out more details.
Going forward, HAL’s outlook is very bullish with 91% of analysts covering HAL issuing a BUY rating or higher. Overall there are 32 analysts currently covering HAL and all but 3 think it’s a great BUY opportunity. If that doesn’t make you feel comfortable then maybe this will, HAL is represented in the equity portfolio of Soros Fund Management who holds a $34 million stake.
2013 has been a good year for HAL investors for several reasons. For one, HAL’s share price has appreciated +18% year-to-date, secondly in February Halliburton announced a +39% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.125 per share, and finally in its most recent quarter (Q1 2013), the oil and gas E&P play reported a record $7.0 billion. Halliburton’s management has stated that it’s focused on improving North American margins in the intermediate-term and we have no reason to doubt that they won’t accomplish this goal, as historically they have always been one of the most efficient management teams worldwide. If you’re looking from George Soros point of view, he might see HAL as the best way to play America’s energy boom.
Halliburton’s strength in the tight oil and gas space is underrated. Trading at 10.7 times forward earnings, HAL is cheap especially compared to its peers. Going forward we are very optimistic about HAL’s long-term outlook and believe that the company will continue to outperform against their competition and we believe they will position themselves as the leader of the American energy boom. As a result, we believe shares of HAL will be trading at $65 per-share 12-months from now which included with their annual dividend of 1.20% works out to be a total net yield of +57.2%.
Rex Energy (NYSE: REXX) Projections: +21%
Rex Energy has been a favorite of ours along with being one of our top-performing stock picks for both 2012 and 2013. We first recommended REXX as a strong BUY opportunity around a year ago. In that short time period, shares have soared over +78%. This probably lead to many investors to sell off their whole position thinking that the stock couldn’t rise any higher without however actually reanalyzing the company’s past and future performance, long-term projections, and overall outlook to see if there in fact is more potential still there. We did in fact take the time to reanalyze REXX and what we found was that while it had been a great year there was nothing to suggest that this run would stop or that REXX would lose value going forward. In fact, many key indicators led us to continue to be bullish on REXX. We did however sell half of our position recommending our readers to do the same as in case of a market correction it would protect our portfolio allowing us to play with the houses money rather than still having all our original starting capital at risk. To find out why we like REXX going forward simply click on the LINK below:
Going forward we expect REXX to continue to outperform their peers and have placed a 12-month price target of $20 per share, a total net yield of +21%.
Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) Projections: +27%
Range Resources stock price has steadily climbed throughout the past year as shares are up +21% year-to-date and +38% over the course of the past 12 months. Going forward, there is nothing to doubt that RRC won’t continue to rise higher as the company foresees production to grow between 20% to 25% over the course of the next few years. RRC’s total resource potential is estimated to be anywhere between 50 to 70 trillion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas. Being a low-cost producer, RRC should yield exceptional profits from these upbeat production numbers.
We also believe that RRC’s new strategy and focus on per-share growth instead of focusing on growth at all costs will be a big driving force for the company going forward and we believe it will be a key factor in sending share prices even higher. With increased production and exports expected to continue to grow there is little to suggest that Range Resource’s stock won’t stop continuing to steadily rise higher. In fact, we think RRC will be a big winner going forward and we expect shares prices to hit $95 over the course of the next 12 months, a total yield of +27%.
Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN) Projections: +40%
Southwestern Energy has made some key recent capital investments that we believe will only further strengthen the company’s long-term outlook as well as sending share prices significantly higher. SWN recently doubled down on its Marcellus acreage, purchasing 162,000 acres from Chesapeake Energy for $93 million. Being the discoverer of the Marcellus play, SWN made the most of its first-mover advantage as they have continued to improve their operations within the acreage. This strategic investment has greatly strengthened SWN’s overall outlook going forward leading to an increase in their overall projections across the board.
Even as SWN expands, the bulk of their assets are still in the Fayetteville Shale. SWN’s strategic capital investments have been crucial providing the company with a low-cost structure that will help SWN profit even if gas prices were to fall or weaken. Shares of SWN rose +37% over the course of the past year, to many investors that is a great return but when you dig deeper and see the long-term potential you realize that SWN is just getting started. The combination of both SWN’s smart and strategic investments along with their luck in what they discovered has led to increased optimism on SWN’s overall long-term outlook. These findings have also led to many analysts across Wall Street upping their projections adding an additional +30% upside to SWN from current levels. The biggest news of all might be that SWN’s recent acquisitions has led to them becoming a new position in the hedge fund managed by George Soros, the fund disclosed a $16.7 million position in Southwestern Energy.
Following a strong first quarter where SWN posted an annual increase in production of 11% along with earnings of $0.36 per share versus $0.30 EPS just a year ago representing solid growth. Add in the recent developments, acquisitions, and investments and SWN has become a much more interesting play and one that holds a lot more potential and value now going forward. We project shares of SWN to be trading at $52 per-share 12-months from now, a total net yield of +40%.
Ultra Petroleum Corp (NYSE: UPL) Projections: +63%
Just like RRC, Ultra Petroleum is another low-cost producer utilizing a new strategy to increase overall future production. UPL are now using their cost position to focus on profitable growth. UPL has cut back its capital program to make sure they invest within their cash flow. In doing so, they were able to trim off more than a billion dollars from their capital plans for this year alone. Going forward, the company will have the ability to spend more capital as cash flow increases. UPL’s management team has chosen this strategy to keep the business more efficient and cash flow positive. They want to avoid the possibility of any possible cash flow problems going forward and this new strategy will allow for them to stay within their means and only spend what they can afford to.
UPL has robust projections when it comes to future production, as they believe that by 2016 they can grow their production by 42% while their EBITDA will more than double. These conservative projections only assume a minimal rise in natural gas prices, however it’s very likely that the price of natural gas will rise above the $4.50 price that Ultra is modeling it to be by 2016. If this is true and natural gas prices do rise higher, then UPL will easily exceed their projections benefiting the business in many different positive ways. For one, higher natural gas prices will lead to an increase in both total revenue and overall profit for UPL. In turn, this will lead to higher cash flow numbers giving UPL more capital to reinvest back within the business which will only further promote increased growth and production. In turn, all of these added benefits will lead to a stronger long-term outlook for UPL, leading them to beat all future earnings estimates which will only further propel the stock to rise higher and higher.
UPL is already having a strong year in 2013, as share prices are up +28% year-to-date. Going forward, we firmly believe that UPL will be a quick riser and we project shares to be trading at $37 per-share 12 months from now, a total net yield of +63%.