The previous trading session closed with stocks heading sharply and suddenly lower after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard sent investors into a so-called “taper-tantrum” with his afternoon comments reiterating the Central Bank’s intent to press ahead with cuts to stimulus spending, single-handedly putting an end to what had been a solid up-day on Wall Street.
While stocks fell across the board in reaction, Texas oil and gas companies, several of whom had reported earnings in the latter half of the week were divided in theirs. Some of the most heavily-traded materials stocks of the previous session were energy companies from the state whose balance sheets for the recently-ended quarter and/or year had been well received by investors.
The following four companies were selected from the oil and gas industries, based on their having closed the previous session on volume at least 3 times greater than their respective three-month averages as a direct result of their earnings statements.
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporations ($COG)
Industry – Independent Oil and Gas
Market-Cap – $15.18 billion
Last Closing Price – $36.07 (-8.17 percent)
Volume/Relative Volume – 23.860 million shares/4.32 times average
2014 Performance – -6.89 percent
The Houston, Texas-based Cabot is a joint Marcellus Shale natural gas/Eagle Ford oil play. The company released its earnings statement after the bell on Feb 20, beating the prior-year results and surpassing analyst estimates on both earnings and revenue, and demonstrated operating proficiency with huge production gains in both oil and gas during the period. The stock tumbled on heavy trading on Friday, however, as investors were wary of the company’s lowered guidance for both production and capital budget for 2014.
Basic Energy Services, Inc. ($BAS)
Industry – Oil and Gas Equipment and Services
Market-Cap – $932.28 million
Last Closing Price – $22.68 (-1.82 percent)
Volume/Relative Volume – 3.650 million shares/3.83 times average
2014 Performance – +43.73 percent
Based in Forth Worth, TX, Basic Energy saw shares flying to a new 52-week high when it reported better-than expected results for both earnings and revenue on Feb 20, but that momentum was dragged into the red during along with the rest of the market late in the next day’s session.
Diamondback Energy, Inc. ($FANG)
Industry – Independent Oil and Gas
Market-Cap – $2.84 billion
Last Closing Price – $63.99 (+2.11 percent)
Volume/Relative Volume – 3.257 million shares/4.07 times average
2014 Performance – +21 percent
The Midland, TX-based Diamondback operates close to home in the oil-rich Permian Basin, and its earnings statement for the recently-ended quarter, released after the bell on Feb 19, showed the company shy of earnings expectations by $0.01, and by a slightly larger margin on revenues. But the market judged this less important than an impressive 53 percent increase in reserves throughout 2013, propelling FANG higher on heavy trading straight through to the closing bell of Friday’s session.
USA Compression Partners, LP ($USAC)
Industry – Oil and Gas Pipelines
Market-Cap – $853.97 million
Last Closing Price – $26.69 (+1.14 percent)
Volume/Relative Volume – 168,400 shares/4.26 times average
2014 Performance – +1.33 percent
Ahead of the bell on Feb 18, the Austin, TX-based pipeline services provider flattened expectations, reporting a massive revenue increase of 53 percent on the prior year’s Q4, and doing nearly the same for adjusted earnings, along with similar leaps across seemingly every financial and operational metric. Shares spent the week climbing higher and heavier, undaunted by the late Friday sell-off.