Energy Business

4 Oil Stocks to Buy as Second Half 2015 Activity Set to Jump

Matador Resources

This company is expected to add at least one rig this year and is a top Permian Basin play. Matador Resources Co. (NYSE: MTDR) is an independent energy outfit engaged in the exploration, development, production and acquisition of oil and natural gas resources in the United States, with an emphasis on oil and natural gas shale and other unconventional plays. Its current operations are focused primarily on the oil and liquids-rich portion of the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas and the Wolfcamp and Bone Spring plays in the Permian Basin in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. Matador also operates in the Haynesville shale and Cotton Valley plays in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas.

The company recently priced a private offering of $400 million of 6.875% senior unsecured notes due 2023. Matador intends to use the net proceeds from the offering primarily to repay a portion of the outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facility and the debt assumed in connection with the merger of Harvey E. Yates Company. It also gives it the firepower to take advantage of opportunistic drilling and increase activity.

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The consensus price target for Matador is posted at $27.54, and shares ended trading Tuesday at $25.00.

Pioneer Natural Resources

This is a stock many Wall Street analysts love for a pure crude oil play. Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD) was the ultimate shale-oil growth story for the past five years, and it has been eviscerated in the sell-off that started almost a year ago. The stock declined almost 10% in the past two weeks and could be offering aggressive investors a potential entry point that could be very timely.

Pioneer is a huge player in the Permian basin and the Eagle Ford, and the company owns more than 20,000 locations in the world’s second largest oil reservoir in the Midland Basin. In addition, the company owns its own frac fleets, allowing Pioneer to be a low-cost, high-margin producer, which could prove to be huge if prices trend sideways at current levels for a protracted time.

The RBC team points out that the company is also adding rigs to the tune of up to two per month for the rest of this year, and as many as eight rigs in the first quarter of next year.

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Pioneer investors are paid a tiny 0.6% dividend. The consensus price target is a whopping $182.64. Pioneer shares were changing hands on Tuesday’s close at $138.69.

Cimarex Energy

This is another company adding rigs in the Permian Basin. Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) is an independent exploration and production company. Its primary activities are in the Mid-Continent and Permian Basin areas of the United States. The company is focused on increasing shareholder value through strategies linked to generating attractive economic returns on capital employed and profitable growth in per-share reserves, production and cash flow. It intends to profitably grow reserves and production through a balanced mix of exploration, exploitation and acquisitions. Cimarex has a diversified base of high-quality production and attractive drilling opportunities.

The RBC team points out that Cimarex has raised equity to increase drilling and completion activity. The lion’s share from a successful 6 million share offering in late May that raise an estimated $730 million for the company to work with.

Cimarex investors are paid a tiny 0.6% dividend. The consensus price target is $135.04, and the stock closed Tuesday at $110.31.

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Add a little Greece related sell-off to a sector that already has been bombarded over the past year, and you could have the makings of a real killer type opportunity. With the potential for a current marketwide sell-off to really heat up, investors should carefully scale into shares.