Energy Business

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

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 company has set April 20 as the date for shareholders to vote on its nearly $2 billion acquisition of Oklahoma City-based Seventy Seven Energy. Patterson-UTI announced plans in December to buy Seventy Seven in an all-stock deal valued around $1.76 billion including debt.

The $31 Deutsche Bank price target is in line with the consensus target of $30.48. Shares closed at $23.45.

Precision Drilling

This is Canada’s leading oilfield services firm that provides contract drilling, well servicing and strategic support services to its customers. Precision Drilling Corp. (NYSE: PDS) provides customers with access to an extensive fleet of contract drilling rigs, directional drilling services, well service and snubbing rigs, coil tubing services, camps, rental equipment and water treatment units backed by a comprehensive mix of technical support services and skilled, experienced personnel.

Despite the company’s large Canadian exposure, 54% of its U.S. drilling fleet is located in the Permian Basin, which remains the hottest shale area in the United States. This stock may be a top pick for aggressive accounts looking for low-priced stocks to gain more shares.

The Deutsche Bank price objective is $10, and the consensus target is $6.80. The stock closed Tuesday at $4.51.

While the spot price of oil may remain volatile, buying the top land drillers with exposure in the best basin plays in the United States makes good sense for aggressive growth investors. Should oil turn higher this summer and the rest of 2017, the gains could be substantial.

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