Energy's Fundamentals Scream Value
This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 21 at 3:56 p.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
Though oil and gas stocks are feeling the pinch of lower commodity prices, this week's earnings and outlooks for energy companies paint a very different picture.
Earlier this week, after Lufkin Industries (LUFK) reported a solid quarter and gave a rosy outlook, its shares bucked the sloppy energy stock trend and worked higher. That provided some hope that earnings will matter this quarter.
On Friday, Schlumberger (SLB) announced a solid quarter, but the stock was soft as traders focused on crude oil trading below $60 a barrel.That is important in the short term and will remain important until we find a new base for the price of crude and natural gas. However, once the markets find a new base -- likely somewhere in the $50s -- fundamentals will again become important, and then energy stocks are likely to be a value investor's friend.
Schlumberger Speeds UpUsually soft-spoken and conservative, Schlumberger CEO Andrew Gould was sanguine about the company's future. "Third-quarter activity strengthened on a global basis as exploration and production activity continued to grow rapidly worldwide," Gould said in his earnings comments. "The industry response to the current lack of an oil supply cushion and the long-term need to increase supplies of natural gas is under way but is still far from reaching a peak." The company posted earnings of 86 cents a share for the third quarter, in line with expectations. However, the company's results were stronger than the number suggests given Schlumberger said hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in an opportunity cost of 6 cents a share in third-quarter earnings. Moreover, Gould's comments about the future appear very positive, suggesting Schlumberger will likely post double-digit growth for the balance of the decade as the world attempts to cope with accelerating production declines and the need for more stability in hydrocarbon supply. The strength will likely be universal. Growth will be spread from longtime markets such as the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea to emerging markets in the Eastern Hemisphere and Latin America.
A Different CycleThe sustainable growth described by Gould is important, because it suggests something I have discussed in these pages before: This energy cycle will likely be longer in duration than previous cycles.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV