NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) are flat at $29.26 in pre-market trade after it was reported that the Houston-based independent energy company is a stubborn believer in the future profitability of natural gas, the New York Times reports.
Steven Mueller, Southwestern's CEO has said that "I'd rather have the gas to myself with no one following." "Most of the companies - on the pure economics, oill versus gas - think we are crazy," Mueller told the Times. "I mean, when I walk in the room it's like, 'They're crazy, they haven't gone to oil.' "
The company has jumped to become the fourth-largest producer of natural gas from being the nation's 40th. And Mueller continues to sign big deals. Since 2007, Southwestern's Fayetteville production has risen 800% and its reserves are up 570%, the Times noted.
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Mueller argues that natural gas has a bright future, given that it is increasingly replacing coal for utilities. He says the day will come when foreign manufacturers will see the low price of American natural gas as so attractive that they will move their plants en masse to the U.S., building a huge new market, according to the Times.
TheStreet Ratings team rates SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY CO as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: