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7 Natural Gas Stocks to Watch

Stocks in this article: MWE OGE WES CPNO ETP XTXI APL DPM

4. Copano Energy (CPNO) provides midstream services to natural gas producers, including natural gas gathering, compression, dehydration, treating, marketing, transportation, processing, conditioning and fractionation services. The company's operations are spread across Texas, Oklahoma, and the Rocky Mountains.

Of the nine analysts covering the stock, two recommend buying and the rest rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Its average 12-month price target is $36.43, which is 18.8% higher than the current price, as per a Bloomberg consensus.

For the second quarter of 2011, the company reported 50.4% increase in total revenue to $346.0 million from $230.0 million in the year-ago period. Net loss attributable to common units narrowed to $17.4 million, or 26 cents per share, from $21.1 million, or 32 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2010. Distributable cash flow for the quarter amounted to $37.6 million, up 12% year-over-year. The second quarter distributable cash flow represents 97% coverage of the second quarter distribution of 57.5 cents per unit.

During the quarter, the company produced natural gas liquids of 26,913 Bbls/d at its Texas operations, compared to 18,382 Bbls/d in the year-ago quarter. At the Oklahoma operations, CPNO produced NGLs of 17,331 Bbls/d, vs. 16,653 Bbls/d. About 93% of the total capital expenditure of $74.9 million was allocated for expansion and capital expenditure.

According to industry sources, Copano Energy is investing significant amounts in the Eagle Ford shale for a small Master Limited Partnership. Along with other companies, CPNO is investing in and around the shale plays with most of the investment directed for developing infrastructure like building pipeline, fractionation and processing facilities around the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas.

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