|By Marketwired .||
|February 8, 2013 08:00 AM EST||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/08/13 -- Oil & gas industry is waiting for the demand and supply imbalance issue to be resolved. The industry is dealing with supply glut and consequent suppressed prices. In such cases, Oil and gas companies are looking to survive by managing their costs. The companies such as Forest Oil Corporation are restructuring their business to focus on their core competencies. In absence of any catalyst, natural gas stocks are likely to be range bound. However, the companies which are able to bring efficiencies into their business have higher chances of thriving. Apache Corp. is also going ahead with expansion strategies. The company has good international presence and thus may provide geographical diversification to a U.S. centric portfolio.
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Forest Corporation recently signed a definitive agreement to dispose of its South Texas properties. The deal will fetch the company $325 million. However, Forest Corporation still retained its interest in lucrative Eagle Ford. The proceeds will help the company in reducing its debt burden and consequently saving interest expenses. However, Forest Corporation is still not expected to snap out of its quarterly loss streak. The company had been posting losses from last three quarters. It is scheduled to announce its fourth quarter results on February 20th and the results are expected to follow the trend.
The trend is worrisome as the stock lost half of its value in last 12 months. It is also falling victim to the strategic decisions taken during oil price bubble period. In order to cash in on the rising prices, the company leveraged itself to the max. As on September 30, 2012, the company had over $2 billion worth of debt, which it is now trying to reduce by selling its assets. However, Forest Corporation is doing well in the Eagle Ford and also has good reserves in mid continent. In order to provide good value to its investors, the company not only needs to cut down its debt levels but will also need to develop its assets fully to harness their full potential.
On the other hand, Apache Corp. trades at Forward Price Earnings ratio of 8.74, lower than its peers Occidental Petroleum and Marathon Oil, which have forward PE ratio of 11.48 and 10.79 respectively. The company is scheduled to report its fourth quarter and full year financial results on February 14th. For its third quarter, Apache missed the earnings estimates but surpassed consensus expectation for revenue. The company is expected to increase its revenue by 8 percent during FY2013, up from flat performance in 2012.
Apache is taking an aggressive approach towards expansion and the additional expenses may put pressure on the company resources. The company now focuses on Andarko basins, where it recently acquired properties. Apache is looking to ramp up its oil production during 2013. The stock's performance is also dependent on oil prices, which are likely to show mild improvement this year. The stock does to hold much glamour for income investors as its current dividend yield stands below 1 percent. However, Apache is a good long term pick for value investors.
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Michael Thomas Smith
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