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EQT Corporation (EQT - Analyst Report) is set to report fourth quarter 2013 results on Feb 13 before the opening bell. Last quarter it posted a +16.00% surprise. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Consider this Quarter

EQT Corporation’s third quarter 2013 adjusted earnings increased to $0.58 per share from $0.21 in prior-year quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.50. The year-over-year increase was primarily attributable to higher production sales, prices, gathered volumes, and transmission capacity sales and throughput. Looking forward it’s natural gas liquids sales volume is expected to be 97 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) for the fourth quarter and 366 Bcfe for the full year, approximately 42% higher than 2012. The company earlier managed to post positive earnings surprises in all of the last four quarters, with an average beat of +15.21%.

However, a number of negatives are likely to mar the overall results of EQT Corporation in the fourth quarter. The company’s high exposure to volatile natural gas fundamentals and weak commodity prices might result in lower-than-expected performance. EQT Corporation also has various multilateral drilling programs across its oil and gas fields that face operational headwinds such as rising service costs, completion delays and equipment failure.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that EQT Corporation is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The earnings ESP for EQT Corporation is -1.52% since the Most Accurate estimate stands at 65 cents while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is 66 cents.

Zacks Rank: EQT Corporation’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) when combined with a negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult. Note that the Sell-rated stocks (#4 and 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.  

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Penn Virginia Corporation (PVA - Snapshot Report) has an earnings ESP of +20.00% and holds a Zacks Rank #2.

Breitburn Energy Partners L.P. (BBEP - Snapshot Report) has an earnings ESP of +3.57% and holds a Zacks Rank #2.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC - Analyst Report) has an earnings ESP of +0.80% and holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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