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National Fuel Gas and Meta Platforms have been highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 28, 2022 – Zacks Equity Research shares National Fuel Gas Company (NFG - Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Meta Platforms (META - Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis BP Plc (BP - Free Report) and Chevron Corp. (CVX - Free Report) .

Here is a synopsis of all four stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Inflation has been banging up everybody. From higher prices at the pump to higher prices at the grocery store, we are all seeing the numbers and feeling the pinch. As consumers, it can feel like we are getting cheated. But before you get down on the inflation numbers, there is a way you can get even. Why not look at investing in companies that will benefit from the inflationary trends?

Stocks like today's Bull of the Day, Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) National Fuel Gas Company. National Fuel Gas Company operates as a diversified energy company. It operates through four segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, and Utility.  As of September 30, 2021, it had proved developed and undeveloped reserves of 21,537 thousand barrels of oil and 3,723,433 million cubic feet of natural gas.

The Utility segment sells natural gas or provides natural gas transportation services to approximately 753,000 customers in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Jamestown, New York; and Erie and Sharon, Pennsylvania. The company markets gas to industrial, wholesale, commercial, public authority, and residential customers primarily in western and central New York, and northwestern Pennsylvania. As of September 30, 2021, the company also owned approximately 95,000 acres of timber property; and managed approximately 2,500 additional acres of timber cutting rights.

The reason for the favorable ranks stems from the series of positive earnings estimate revisions coming from analysts. Over the last thirty days, two analysts have increased their earnings estimates for the current year and next year. The bullish sentiment has pushed up our Zacks Consensus Estimate from $5.68 to $6.00, while next year's number is up from $6.59 to $7.37.

That's 39.86% EPS growth this year and 22.86% next year. Sales growth is there as well with 30.29% sales growth this year and 11.93% sales growth next year. That helps this stock enjoy a PE of 10.5x earnings, cheaper than the industry average of 13.2x and the broad market's 16.29x. The PEG Ratio comes in at 0.77x, making this a bargain with great growth numbers. Back to that industry average, the average growth in the industry is just 5% for the current year and 5.2% for next year.

Bear of the Day:

Tech stocks have had their day in the sun. With the market skyrocketing, four-letter tickers were the hot spot of the market. Their innovation, huge growth numbers, and incredible scalability made them favorites. As the market has contracted, money supplies have tightened, and reality set in, everything has changed. Jumping in and buying the dip on stocks that once were the rock stars of the market may sound like a great idea. But I'd caution against doing that, unless you've scrubbed the earnings trends on these stocks.

Our Zacks Rank makes that easy, which is why I am naming Meta Platforms as my Bear of the Day. I'm sure you have all heard of, and likely have or have had a Facebook account at one point. Meta is the world's largest social media platform, evolving from Facebook to Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

The stock is currently a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) in the Internet – Software industry which ranks in the Top 38% of our Zacks Industry Rank. The reason for the unfavorable Zacks Rank is the series of negative earnings estimate revisions coming from analysts. Over the last sixty days, three analysts have dropped their estimates for the current year, while four have done so for next year. The negative revisions have cut our Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current year from $11.94 to $9.91 while next year's number is off from $13.96 to $10.76.

That means that this year's EPS number is going to contract by an eye-watering 28%, while next year's number is only forecast to grow by 8.6%. On the revenue side, a 1.34% contraction for this year and a 10.35% increase next year.

Additional content:

BP, Chevron Shut Offshore Facilities Ahead of Hurricane Ian

BP Plc and Chevron Corp. have discontinued production at their offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, following Hurricane Ian's landfall in the world's most important petroleum production region.

Ian is the first major hurricane this year to threaten the nation's largest concentration of refineries, petrochemical facilities and offshore platforms.  The storm is expected to disrupt hydrocarbon production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for 15% of the nation's crude oil and 5% of dry natural gas.

BP closed and evacuated every employee from the 130,000-barrels-per-day Na Kika facility. The company operates the Na Kika platform with a 50% working interest. BP is also shutting down the 250,000-barrels-per-day Thunder Horse platform and relocating non-essential workers.

BP's Na Kika and Thunder Horse facilities can produce 550 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) and 200 mmcf/d of natural gas, respectively. BP will closely monitor the storm's activities that could impact its operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Chevron started evacuating workers from its Petronius and Blind Faith platforms. The platforms can produce 105,000 barrels per day of oil and 90 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. Production at Chevron's other Gulf of Mexico facilities remained at normal levels.

Hurricane Ian is expected to reach its peak intensity over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane-force winds will likely last longer due to the storm's slow forward speed. Hence, shutting down the refineries can limit the damage that could disrupt the fuel supplies for an extended period.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past six months. The stock has lost 9% compared with the industry's 11.4% decline.

BP currently carries a Zack Rank #2 (Buy).

Investors interested in the energy sector might look at the following companies that presently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss.This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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