Analyst Raises Price Targets on Top Oilfield Services Stocks to Buy

Print Email

One reason Wall Street remains very positive on not only the top exploration and production companies but oil services as well is the impact the U.S. shale revolution has had on the overall industry. Top companies that we cover on Wall Street feel that the United States is poised to be a big player in restoring and growing global oil production. With deepwater production expensive, and ownership rights in the Gulf and other areas changing hands, the top shale plays remain the focus.

In a new research piece from Jefferies, outstanding oilfield services analyst Brad Handler and his staff not only raise their targets for onshore activity, but they raise the price targets on the firm’s top stocks to Buy. These four stocks they rate Buy have big upside potential.

Halliburton

This company has ticked higher since the deal with Baker Hughes fell through due to regulators’ concerns, but it is still down almost 45% from highs printed two years ago. Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry.

The company serves the upstream oil and gas industry throughout the life cycle of the reservoir, from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production through the life of the field.

The oil field giant announced last year a $1 billion investment to develop huge potential oil fields in Ecuador and has entered into a long-time deal with Petroamazonas, an Ecuador-based company involved in the exploration and development of the country’s oil reserves. With oil looking to stabilize in the $40 to $50 range, this top oil service company is a great stock to buy on sale, as the oil recovery has shown some legs.

Halliburton shareholders are paid a 1.5% dividend. Jefferies raised its price target to $58 from $56. The Wall Street consensus target is $55.17. The shares closed last Friday at $48.43.

Hi-Crush Partners

This is one of the top frac sand producers, and it was recently raised to Buy at Jefferies. Hi-Crush Partners L.P. (NYSE: HCLP) is an integrated producer, transporter, marketer and distributor of high-quality monocrystalline sand, a specialized mineral that is used as a proppant (frac sand) to enhance the recovery rates of hydrocarbons from oil and natural gas wells.

Hi-Crush reserves, which are located in Wisconsin, consist of Northern White sand, a resource that exists predominantly in Wisconsin and limited portions of the upper Midwest region of the United States. Hi-Crush owns and operates the largest distribution network in the Marcellus and Utica shales, and it has distribution capabilities throughout North America.

The Jefferies price target for the stock was raised to $23 from $21. The consensus target is much lower at $16.44. Shares closed Friday at $17.80.

Patterson-UTI Energy

This company could see meaningful business coming from Canada this year. Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: PTEN) subsidiaries provide onshore contract drilling and pressure pumping services to exploration and production companies in North America. Patterson-UTI Drilling Company and its subsidiaries operate land-based drilling rigs in oil and natural gas producing regions of the continental United States and western Canada. Universal Pressure Pumping and Universal Well Services provide pressure pumping services primarily in Texas and the Appalachian region.

The stock has been on a solid roll since late January, and the outperformance could be attributed to good execution and reduction in the cost structure. Other Wall Street analysts have noted that the company’s pressure pumping margins improved substantially.

Investors are paid a 0.4% dividend. The Jefferies price target rose to $29 from $25, and the consensus target stands lower at $22.38. The stock closed Friday at $24.40.

Weatherford

This company has been absolutely demolished, but it may be offering aggressive investors big upside potential. Weatherford International Ltd. (NYSE: WFT) is one of the largest multinational oilfield service companies, providing innovative solutions, technology and services to the oil and gas industry. It operates in over 100 countries and has a network of approximately 1,200 locations, including manufacturing, service, research and development, and training facilities and employs approximately 37,000 people.

The company offers customers a wide range of global capabilities, including a proprietary system for pressure management in the mushrooming arena of subsea production. The changes in government oil policy in Mexico in 2014 may provide some favorable tailwinds for the company, despite the huge downturn in oil pricing.

The prior $7.00 Jefferies price target rose to $7.50, and the consensus target is $7.93. The stock closed Friday at $6.30.

With the price of oil firming around $50 and expectation of prices close to $60 this time next year, all these companies could be poised for significant increase in business over the next 12 to 18 months. The stock prices could follow as well.