4. Range Resources (RRC - Get Report) is an oil and gas exploration and production company, with a market value of $6.9 billion. Natural-gas-focused Range has suffered a 16% stock price drop in 2010 amid a "high cost/low gas price environment." Morningstar expects the earnings outlook to rebound in 2011. Service-provider Halliburton just debuted discount offerings to dry-gas-focused producers, like Range, confirming Morningstar's view of the current difficult operating environment as temporary. Range's position in the Marcellus shale region renders it attractive.
Range holds nearly one million acres in Marcellus under low-cost leases, which will allow for production, reserve and profit growth into the foreseeable future. It was a first-mover in the region and, consequently, its property is cheap, based on lease and royalty fees, and has outstanding geophysical characteristics. Its other property investments, mostly in Virgina, are promising. Risks include higher taxes in Pennsylvania, regulatory interference, dependence on MarkWest for midstream access and lower oil and gas prices. Non-core property sales assure financial stability going forward.