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PDC Energy (PDCE) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

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Have you been paying attention to shares of PDC Energy (PDCE - Free Report) ? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 31.4% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $74.08 in the previous session. PDC Energy has gained 51.1% since the start of the year compared to the 27.2% move for the Zacks Oils-Energy sector and the 39.6% return for the Zacks Oil and Gas - Exploration and Production - United States industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on February 28, 2022, PDC Energy reported EPS of $2.86 versus consensus estimate of $2.4 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 23.57%.

For the current fiscal year, PDC Energy is expected to post earnings of $13.41 per share on $3.5 billion in revenues. This represents a 67.83% change in EPS on a 46.88% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $14.10 per share on $3.52 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 5.18% and 0.59%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

PDC Energy may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company has run ahead of itself.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. Investors should consider the style scores a valuable tool that can help you to pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

PDC Energy has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are B and A, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of A.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 5.5X current fiscal year EPS estimates, which is not in-line with the peer industry average of 6.8X. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 4.9X versus its peer group's average of 5.7X. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, PDC Energy currently has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if PDC Energy passes the test. Thus, it seems as though PDC Energy shares could have a bit more room to run in the near term.

How Does PDCE Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of PDCE have been soaring, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? One industry peer that looks good is Gulfport Energy Corporation (GPOR - Free Report) . GPOR has a Zacks Rank of # 2 (Buy) and a Value Score of A, a Growth Score of B, and a Momentum Score of F.

Earnings were strong last quarter. Gulfport Energy Corporation beat our consensus estimate by 20.55%, and for the current fiscal year, GPOR is expected to post earnings of $8.33 per share on revenue of $1.17 billion.

Shares of Gulfport Energy Corporation have gained 27.6% over the past month, and currently trade at a forward P/E of 5.16X and a P/CF of 4.76X.

The Oil and Gas - Exploration and Production - United States industry is in the top 26% of all the industries we have in our universe, so it looks like there are some nice tailwinds for PDCE and GPOR, even beyond their own solid fundamental situation.


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