2013 Natural Gas Rally Buys $DO $BWP $PDS
Envestor First has been bracing itself for the natural gas rally. While we were heavy on the bottom in April of 2012 as evident by our numerous posts on the subject and we feel that the real rally is on its way. The natural gas glut caused by massive shale and horizontal drilling booms will soon meet a massive rally. The reasons we site are improved demand domestically, upcoming LNG terminal activation and a massive decline in natural gas rigs. We believe lots of natural gas stocks should be considered as part of your portfolio these 3 should see considerable benefits when the rally begins.
The first is Diamond Offshore Drilling (NYSE:DO), which owns and operates one of the world’s largest fleet of offshore drilling rigs. Loews owns 50.4% of the company and although revenues and earnings suffered in 2012, its future appears strong given all the offshore drilling that’s taking place around the world. With over $1.3 billion in EBITDA earnings heading into 2013, the fact that it has been able to sign a contract for its Ocean Endeavor 10,000-feet rig that ups the daily rate from $285,000 to $505,000 suggests that the offshore drilling business is picking up steam; Diamond Offshore looks ready to take advantage of the changing tide.
As for Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE:BWP), it operates natural gas pipelines in the U.S. transporting about 10% of the nation’s natural gas on an annual basis. Although it generates just 6% of Loews’ overall net income, it does so on a consistent basis. Personally, I like the natural gas tie-in. Lastly, it owns 100% of privately operated HighMount Exploration and Production, a Texas-based company that produces natural gas, LNG and oil in Texas and Oklahoma. In 2012, as a result of lower natural gas prices, it’s had to take large impairment charges on its natural gas revenue. I’d expect its situation to improve in 2013. Loews has increased its book value per share by approximately 9.5% on an annualized basis over the past five years. Owning its stock instead of the energy-related holdings directly allows you to benefit from its other holdings at the same time.
Precision Drilling (NYSE:PDS) Dahlman Rose, an investment bank specializing in natural resources, upgraded the oil services industry in November 2012; one of the prime recipients of this upgrade was Precision Drilling, Canada’s largest oilfield services company. Dahlman Rose expects North American exploration and production to increase by 11% in 2013 to $334 billion, led by a big increase from natural gas. The investment banker believes land drillers like Precision are selling at a historically low multiple of 1.1 times tangible book value compared to the historical norm of two times tangible book value. Heading into 2013, Precision’s stock’s dropped a significant amount and sits at one of its lowest levels in the past two years. Despite reduced demand for its services in 2012, CEO Kevin Neveu pointed out in October that, “PDS is seeing increased long-term contracts for upgraded and new rigs.” Rising natural gas prices should increase the industry’s rig utilization rate to around 85%, naturally increasing Precision’s revenues and profits. This could be an easy double in 2013.
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