Cold Play: Don't Load Up on Canadian Energy Stocks

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Before I analyze the Canadian oil-and-gas market and the stocks that trade in the U.S., I will describe the weekly chart for the S&P 500. If the S&P 500 (1626.13) ends this week below its five-week modified moving average at 1620.51, with its momentum (12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic) reading declining below 80.00 on a scale of 00.00 to 100.00, the weekly chart profile will shift to negative.

Chart Courtesy of Thomson/ReutersThe weekly chart for crude oil ($94.78) will remain positive with a close this week above its five-week MMA at $94.28 with rising momentum. Oil is well above its 200-week simple moving average at $88.57. My quarterly value level is $79.66 with a monthly pivot at $92.32 and annual risky level at $115.23.

Chart Courtesy of Thomson/Reuters

Fundamentally the market is trading under a ValuEngine valuation warning, with 71.5% of all stocks overvalued and 32.6% of all stocks overvalued by 20% or more.

There are 558 stocks in the oils-energy sector, with only one rated strong buy and just 13 rated buy. There are 137 sell-rated stocks and 45 strong sell-rated stocks. With 32.6% of all stocks in the sector rated sell, I give oils-energy sector an underweight rating. OV / UN Valued - The stocks with a red number are undervalued by this percentage. Those with a black number are overvalued by that percentage according to ValuEngine.

VE Rating - A "1-Engine" rating is a Strong Sell, a "2-Engine" rating is a Sell, a "3-Engine" rating is a Hold, a "4-Engine" rating is a Buy and a "5-Engine" rating is a Strong Buy.

Last 12-Month Return (%) - Stocks with a Red number declined by that percentage over the last twelve months. Stocks with a Black number increased by that percentage.

Forecast 1-Year Return - Stocks with a Red number are projected to decline by that percentage over the next twelve months. Stocks with a Black number in the Table are projected to move higher by that percentage over the next twelve months.

Value Level: is the price at which to enter a GTC Limit Order to buy on weakness. The letters mean; W-Weekly, M-Monthly, Q-Quarterly, S-Semiannual and A- Annual.

Pivot: A level between a value level and risky level that should be a magnet during the time frame noted.

Risky Level: is the price at which to enter a GTC Limit Order to sell on strength.

Among the Canadian energy stocks, 12 are undervalued, but only one has a buy rating, and Gastar Exploration ( GST) ($2.57) is speculative trading under $3 a share. I consider a stock trading below $3 as an option on survival.

Baytex Energy ( BTE) ($37.21), Pengrowth Energy ( PGH) ($5.11) and Penn West Petroleum ( PWE) ($10.72) have recently been downgraded to sell from hold.



Note that seven stocks have double-digit percentage gains over the last 12 months, and that five have double-digit losses. Buy-rated Gastar is the only stock projected to be higher over the next 12 months. Only three have single-digit 12-month trailing price-to-earnings ratios, and 11 are trading below their 200-day simple moving averages.

In addition to the stocks presented today, I have a spreadsheet of 259 Canadian energy stocks that do not trade in the U.S. According to ValueEnginie, only five have buy ratings, 111 are rated hold, 98 are rated sell, and 26 are rated strong sell. The remainder are not rated by ValuEngine. That is a similar distribution for the stocks traded in the U.S.

The bottom line is that energy stocks are not cheap and there are no clear winners at the present time. Where I have value levels and risky levels, buy-and-trade strategies can be employed.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Richard Suttmeier has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a master of science from Brooklyn Poly. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1972 trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. In 1981 he formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild and helped establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. Richard began writing market research in 1984 and held positions as market strategist at firms such as Smith Barney, William R Hough, Joseph Stevens, and Rightside Advisors. He joined www.ValuEngine.com in 2008 producing newsletters covering the U.S. capital markets, and a universe of more than 7,000 stocks. Richard employs a "buy and trade" investment strategy and can be reached at RSuttmeier@Gmail.com.

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