4 Top Land Drillers to Buy as Rig Count Continues to Soar

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While the pressure has remained on West Texas Intermediate oil pricing with price of a barrel still below the psychological $50 level, there are indications that lags in data, combined with the OPEC production cuts continuing, may bode well for the second half of 2017. As expected, many non-OPEC members are suspected of not complying fully with the cuts, but big drops in the Saudi’s and other OPEC countries’ output should start to show up in the data.

A new Deutsche Bank research report makes the case that non-U.S. and non-OPEC production often surprises to the downside, and the analyst suspects that given the huge spending cuts, few of the major producing countries can lift production. Toss in the possibility of geopolitical issues having an impact, and prices may rise soon.

Deutsche Bank points out that at current levels only the land drillers enjoy any type of margin gains, and while those could deteriorate if prices continue to decline, they could sharply improve if prices jump. Four stocks are rated Buy at the firm.

Basic Energy Services

This recent initial public offering has come in sharply following big gains and could have serious upside potential. Basic Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: BAS) provides well site services to oil and natural gas drilling and producing companies in the United States.

Its Completion and Remedial Services segment offers pumping services, such as cementing, acidizing, fracturing, nitrogen and pressure testing; rental and fishing tools; coiled tubing; snubbing services; thru-tubing; cased-hole wireline services; and underbalanced drilling in low pressure and fluid sensitive reservoirs.

The company’s Fluid Services segment is involved in the transportation of fluids; production of salt water; sale and transportation of fresh and brine water; rental of portable fracturing and test tanks; recycling and treatment of wastewater; operation of fresh water and brine source wells, and non-hazardous wastewater disposal wells; and preparation, construction and maintenance of access roads, drilling locations and production facilities.

The Well Servicing segment provides services performed with a mobile well servicing rig and ancillary equipment, such as maintenance work, hoisting tools and equipment required by the operation, and plugging and abandonment services, as well as manufactures and sells workover rigs.

The Deutsche Bank price target for the stock is $40, but the Wall Street consensus target is much higher at $46.35. The shares closed Tuesday at $31.56.

Nabors Industries

This company also provides drilling and rig services. Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR) offers rig instrumentation, optimization software and directional drilling services. It also provides completion, life-of-well maintenance and plugging and abandonment of a well.

In addition, the company markets approximately 466 land drilling rigs for oil and gas land-based drilling operations in the United States, Canada and approximately 20 other countries worldwide; approximately 445 rigs for land well-servicing and workover services in the United States; 98 rigs for land well-servicing and workover services in Canada; 42 rigs for offshore drilling operations in the United States and internationally; and seven jackup units and components of trucks and fluid hauling vehicles.

Top Wall Street analysts have stated that they think concerns over the company’s balance sheet are way overblown, and at current levels the shares are pricing in too modest of an industry recovery. In addition, the international exposure the company has helps to provide more stability.

Nabors investors receive a 1.67% dividend. Deutsche Bank has a $20 price target. The consensus price objective is $19.24, and shares closed Tuesday at $12.49.