Energy Business

How Halcon Turned Into a Double

Halcon Resources Corp. (NYSE: HK) may be the first of the stocks we said could double in 2014 to actually do so. By some counts, it has already doubled. Shares have pulled back from their highs on Friday, but a research note, an asset sale and a continued earnings momentum are driving the stock.

This stock was talked up on Friday by Zacks Investment Research, but the firm only rates it a #3 (a Hold rating). Zacks said that investors may definitely want to consider this stock to profit in the near future. Zacks went on to say that analysts have been increasing their targets, but that three analysts have raised estimates and three have lowered estimates in the past 30 days.

One thing that has changed of late, outside of its better earnings report, is that Halcon closed on the sale of its East Texas assets in early May for $450 million. The company even lowered its credit facility after that.

The early May earnings report brought cheers as well. Halcon said that revenues of $275.1 million in the first quarter of 2014 were up 44% from the same quarter a year earlier. Production was also above the high-end of guidance and increased to 36,622 barrels of oil equivalent per day. That was up 41% from a year ago, and the production was 85% oil, 6% natural gas liquids (NGLs) and 9% natural gas. Outside of hedging, Halcon also realized 93% of the average NYMEX oil price, 47% of the average NYMEX price for NGLs and 103% of the average NYMEX natural gas price.

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Along with earnings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Floyd C. Wilson was very positive. His statement included the note:

Our persistent focus on improving returns via technological innovation and good old fashioned hard work is beginning to pay off. We are firing on all cylinders from an operational standpoint and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Shares were at a near-term peak of $6.36 on Thursday, and the stock hit a new high of $6.37 on Thursday and on Friday before pulling back.

With the stock at $6.35 on Friday, this one was up more than 81% from the $3.50 price when we included it as one of nine stocks that could double in 2014. There is one real caveat to consider and that is that the consensus analyst price target from Thomson Reuters is down at $5.75 as of now.

Keep in mind that the 52-week low of $3.16 was hit on January 9, 2014, but the stock closed at $3.32 on that day. If you pick the 52-week low as a barometer, then Halcon has already doubled in 2014. The real trick is to consider that Halcon still has to double yet again to make many past shareholders happy.

As we noted in February:

This stock used to be considered a buyout candidate, and the endless number of oil and gas mergers that we’ve seen in recent years could help keep interest in this company alive.

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