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Continental ResourcesDescription: This $14 billion dollar, Enid, Okla- based company is one of the first and largest exploration companies in the shale oil and gas-rich Williston Basin region of North Dakota and Montana.
Potential Upside in 2012: Roughly and easily 20%, according to Bill Gunderson, president of Gunderson Capital Management.
Stock Price (Jan. 23 Close): $74.45
TheStreet Ratings Grade:Buy. TheStreet Ratings Team says that Continental Resources has "significantly" grown sales and net income, outpacing the average growth rates of its competition. In addition, stockholders' equity soared 93.68% in the third-quarter from a year ago. But the analysts note that the company's third-quarter liquidity decreased from the same period last year.
Gunderson's View: Even though the stock has already soared over 150% in the last three years, Gunderson remains long in them. He believes that Continental Resources can easily spike to the $90 range before the end of the year with the help of a surprise denial of the Keystone pipeline. Delays in sending Canadian oil to the U.S. means less competition for this U.S. oil shale play.
Gunderson, for one, doesn't think that alternative energy stocks could receive any added benefit from such an event due to their "lousy" business models.
Continental Resources said this week that its January production continues to accelerate at more than 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (Boepd). The company also said that in the fourth quarter, production rose 57% to 75,219 Boepd from 48,034 the same time last year. Crude oil accounted for 72% of Continental's fourth quarter 2011 production as the company successfully drilled the North Dakota Bakken and Anadarko Woodford, Okla. shale formations. Following the Continental report, Stifel Nicolaus analysts upgraded their earnings per share estimates for the company's first quarter to 78 cents from 73 cents and full-year to $3.50 from $3.16.