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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: SilverBow, Unit, Approach, Phillips 66 and Shell Midstream

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –January 2, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: SilverBow Resources, Inc. (SBOW - Free Report) , Unit Corporation (UNT - Free Report) , Approach Resources, Inc. (AREX - Free Report) , Phillips 66 Partners LP (PSXP - Free Report) and Shell Midstream Partners, L.P. (SHLX - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

5 of the Best Oil Stocks to Own for the New Year

One of the most profitable areas of the equity market remains energy. As demand for oil continues to scale upward, topping 100 million barrels per day this year, the energy sector is positioned to boost your portfolio in the New Year. Thus, zeroing down on the oil stocks poised to stand out as top investments for next year seems judicious.

How the Oil Market Fared in 2018

Oil analysts were cautious at the beginning of 2018, with oil prices at around $50 a barrel. But, crude prices surged to the $70s by mid-year on the Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which significantly impacted supplies.

However, the oil rally came to an abrupt halt toward the end of the year. After all, the supply-demand disparity increased after the Trump administration decided to relax sanctions on the purchase of Iranian oil by granting waivers to eight buyers of Tehran’s crude, dragging crude oil below $50 a barrel.

Oil Market Outlook for 2019

With crude prices near $50 a barrel at the end of this year, the outlook for the year ahead is certainly muddied. Slowdown in demand growth, in the meanwhile, is doing no good either. Oil demand was initially expected to rise by more than 1.5 million barrels per day in 2019, per the International Energy Agency (IEA).

But, the agency recently lowered its forecast by 110,000 barrels per day due to a weakening global economy. Trade-related issues between the United States and China after the economies levied tariffs on each other’s commodities to protect domestic industries and jobs dampened global growth.

However, OPEC (consisting oil-producing nations Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Congo) has steeped in to stabilizing oil prices in the New Year. OPEC and a number of its allies, including Russia, will introduce production cuts to take out 1.2 million barrels per day from the oil market in January 2019.

U.S. production growth may also get hampered next year due to pipeline bottlenecks, something that bodes well for oil prices. Takeaway constraints in the Permian Basin at least through the first half of 2019 are expected to persist.

Some skeptics may argue that in the second half of 2019, once new pipelines start to bring Permian oil to the market, U.S. production will rise exerting pressure on oil prices. Then again, OPEC could offset that surge by extending production cuts. Lest we forget, OPEC and its alliance will catch up in April to decide whether market conditions require keeping the curbs in place.  

Oil Analysts See $70 a Barrel in 2019

With oil supplies and demand widely expected to be back into balance, oil analysts expect a recovery in prices at least in the first six months of 2019. Nearly 24 oil analysts in a Bloomberg survey projected Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, to average $70 a barrel in 2019, while the median forecast for West Texas Intermediate crude is $61.13.

By the way, the Brent recently dropped below $50 a barrel for the first time since July 2017, while the West Texas Intermediate managed to bounce off a one-and-a-half year low at $42.36 a barrel.

Investment banks, in the meantime, now see Brent crude average about $68-$73 a barrel next year. And when it comes to U.S. crude, the forecast is between $59 and $66 a barrel.

5 Best Oil Stocks to Buy Now

With world’s biggest banks and oil experts reckoning on a rebound in oil prices next year, investing in oil companies best positioned for the year ahead seems prudent. These stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).

SilverBow Resources, Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings rose 7.7% in the past 60 days. The company is expected to return 166.7% next quarter.

Unit Corporation operates as a diversified energy company in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Oil and Natural Gas, Contract Drilling, and Mid-Stream. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings increased 16.7% in the past 60 days. The company is likely to return 28.6% next quarter.

Approach Resources, Inc. focuses on the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of unconventional oil reserves in the United States. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings moved 16% up in the past 60 days. The company is expected to return 28.6% next quarter. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Phillips 66 Partners LP owns, operates, develops, and acquires crude oil. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings increased 7.4% in the past 90 days. The company is expected to return 28.6% next quarter.

Shell Midstream Partners, L.P. owns, operates, develops, and acquires pipelines and other midstream assets in the United States. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings increased 8.6% in the past 60 days. The company is expected to return 166.7% next quarter.

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top tickers to buy and hold for the entirety of 2019?

These 10 are painstakingly handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks poised to outperform in the year ahead. Be among the first to see the new Zacks Top 10 Stocks >>

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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 http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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