That production growth, if Devon can achieve it, would translate into one of the highest rates of earnings growth in the industry.
Specifically, Wells Fargo points to the GeoSouthern deal as a driver of improving performance. After closing the deal with GeoSouthern assets in the Eagle Ford on Feb. 28, the pace of production has accelerated from 53 million barrels of oil equivalent a day (MBoe/d) to 64 MBoe/d. That acceleration makes Devon's second half guidance of 80-to-85 MBoe/d achievable, according to Wells Fargo.
Is There Another 20% Left?
So is there really opportunity for investors in Devon after a 20% year-to-date rise in 2014? Wells Fargo believes so.
"There is a lingering perception about Devon's assets, and we think outside of the dedicated energy funds, some of the long-only's and generalists are still catching up to its revamped portfolio," they state of the company's turnaround. Wells Fargo holds out a valuation range of between $85 and $90 a share for Devon Energy, an about 20% premium to current prices.
-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.