Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Halliburton (HAL) Shares Decline 13% Year to Date: Here's Why

Read MoreHide Full Article

Shares of Halliburton Company (HAL - Free Report) have dropped 13.6% year to date against the 3% composite rise of the stocks belonging to the industry.

Reasons Behind the Slide

Explorer’s Conservative Capital Spending

The average monthly price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude declined to $49.52 per barrel in December 2018 from the record high of $70.98 per barrel reached in July 2018, per the U.S Energy Information Administration. The significant decline in the price of the commodity has convinced explorers and producers in North America to start 2019 with a conservative capital budget. Importantly, U.S. explorers are facing constant pressure from investors for higher returns instead of production growth, forcing upstream energy firms to restrict capital spending through 2019.

Lower investments in oil exploration and production operations have dented demand for oilfield services since the oilfield service companies help drillers efficiently drill oil wells.

Permian Bottleneck, DUC Wells

Halliburton is among the leading providers of oilfield services in North America with prime focus on the shale plays. However, the Permian basin, which is the most prolific shale play in the United States, is still facing a pipeline bottleneck problem thereby restricting explorers and producers from producing the commodity at the optimum level. This is hurting demand for Halliburton’s oilfield services.

Moreover, there is a record backlog of drilled but uncompleted (or DUC) wells in the Permian Basin — signalling a slowdown in well completion activity. Worryingly, the high DUC count means lower-than-expected demand for Halliburton’s completion tools and associated activities, which will be needed once these wells are finalized. 

Declining Rig Count

U.S. drillers have now become more efficient as they are deploying lesser rigs to produce more oil and gas volumes. Since Halliburton assists explorers and producers to optimize well construction, the decline in the count of rigs being employed has hurt this oilfield service giant’s Drilling and Evaluation business unit.  

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Halliburton carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the energy space include Apache Corporation (APA - Free Report) , Ecopetrol S.A. (EC - Free Report) and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation . While Apache and Anadarko carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Ecopetrol sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.        

Apache has average positive earnings surprise of 6.6% for the last four quarters.

Anadarko Petroleum has average positive earnings surprise of 6.6% for the last four quarters.

Ecopetrol is likely to witness earnings growth of 25.3% through 2019.

This Could Be the Fastest Way to Grow Wealth in 2019

Research indicates one sector is poised to deliver a crop of the best-performing stocks you'll find anywhere in the market. Breaking news in this space frequently creates quick double- and triple-digit profit opportunities.

These companies are changing the world – and owning their stocks could transform your portfolio in 2019 and beyond. Recent trades from this sector have generated +98%, +119% and +164% gains in as little as 1 month.

Click here to see these breakthrough stocks now >>

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

Ecopetrol S.A. (EC) - free report >>

Halliburton Company (HAL) - free report >>

Apache Corporation (APA) - free report >>