Shares of oilfield services companies rose along with the price of oil on Friday, just days before companies in the sector begin to post their second-quarter earnings results.
Benchmark crude for August delivery extended its rally into a third straight day, rising $1.39, or 2.2%, to $64.46.
Pritchard Capital Partners analyst Mark Brown said that investor skepticism is high now, and initial dismal second-quarter results -- driven by oversupply, demand weakness and rig count declines -- could prompt an initial selloff.This could lead to a possible bottoming pattern in early August, at the midpoint of earnings season, presenting a good entry point, he said. With time, Brown noted, "investors, having fully digested the results, may come to the conclusion that the quarter wasn't as bad as the worse that was feared." "When all is said and done in about four weeks, we believe more companies will actually exceed expectations than not." Brown rated Weatherford "Buy," with an earnings estimate of 17 cents per share, a penny above analyst expectations. He also nodded toward Schlumberger (SLB - Get Report), National Oilwell Varco (NOV - Get Report) and Tidewater International (TDW - Get Report) as potential investments as these names should benefit from higher oil prices. Brown said Willbros Group (WG - Get Report) will likely see a significant 2010 demand pick up. Shares of Schlumberger rose 53 cents to close at $56.01. National Oilwell Varco gained 33 cents to $34.16. Tidewater shares added 44 cents to $46.31. Willbros Group shares slipped 8 cents to $13.07. Halliburton shares lost 15 cents to $21.38. Shares of BJ Services rose 14 cents to $14.44.