Energy Business

SunTrust Says Worst Case Priced In for Oilfield Services: 3 Bargains to Buy

For those who were reluctant to look at their October statements, and fearing that November’s will look just as bad, be thankful you didn’t have a big long position in oil. Down a stunning 30% in just over six weeks is the kind of beating that is tough to swallow. The good news is oil seems to have found a bottom, and there could be some outstanding bargains for those with long-term horizons.

In a series of new research reports from the energy teams at SunTrust, while they do lower their price deck estimates for oil for 2019 and 2020 about 10%, they, like many, feel that production cuts from OPEC and perhaps Russia could be on the way.

Analyst Ken Sill, who covers oilfield services, also moved his estimates to account for the impact of lower oil, and while he doesn’t see a price spike from an OPEC cut, he does think it will stabilize things. He also thinks that the worst case scenarios are priced in and now is the time to add to oil services exposure.

Three companies are highlighted as stocks to own. All are rated Buy at SunTrust.

Baker Hughes

General Electric announced recently it will be divesting a large part of its interests in Baker Hughes, a GE Company (NYSE: BHGE), and this could provide a new life to the shares. Baker Hughes is a provider of integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions. The company’s products and services include upstream, midstream, downstream, industrial solutions and digital transformation.

The company’s upstream includes evaluation, drilling, completions and production. Midstream enables the power and compression efficiency for liquefied natural gas and pipeline and storage. Downstream builds reliability and safety into process operations that include refining and petrochemical and fertilizer solutions.

Baker Hughes industrial solutions offers power generation to advanced control systems and sensing technology that power industrial facilities. Digital transformation integrates data on an open platform with security and scale. The digital transformation enables field services with real-time insights.

The analysts noted this in the report when highlighting potential risks:

The company operates in remote, harsh, and undeveloped regions both internationally and domestically. International operations expose the company to unpredictable political and market risks including foreign exchange fluctuations, shifting government regulations, and political instability. Several of Baker’s international operations are located in regions where violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as other anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, tend to occur more often than other regions.

Shareholders are paid a 3.22% dividend. The SunTrust price target for the shares is $39, and the Wall Street consensus target is lower at $36.80. The stock closed Tuesday’s trading at $22.38.


This stock is down almost 42% since late May but remains a top large-cap oil services pick across Wall Street. Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. It 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.

Halliburton is the second-largest provider of oil services and the number one player in pressure pumping services worldwide. For investors looking for an oilfield services company to add, this is arguably the best, and analysts feel it will be a huge benefactor as the frac market has tightened significantly and prices are 20% to 30% off the lows.

Again citing risks, the analyst noted this:

Halliburton’s business is dependent on commodity prices. As economic cycles proceed, commodity prices fluctuate. A low price environment triggered by anemic economic growth or excessive production growth would limit demand for HAL’s goods and services. Technological advances affecting energy consumption and production could reduce demand for HAL’s products and services.

Halliburton shareholders receive a 2.26% dividend. SunTrust has a $58 price target, and the posted consensus target is $49.21. The shares closed at $31.88 on Tuesday.


This smaller cap stock actually has rallied off 52-week lows and could be a solid stock for aggressive accounts. ProPetro Holding Corp. (NYSE: PUMP) provides hydraulic fracturing and other complementary services to upstream oil and gas companies engaged in the exploration and production of North American unconventional oil and natural gas resources.

The company operates through seven segments focused on hydraulic fracturing, cementing, acidizing, coil tubing, flowback, surface drilling and Permian drilling. Its pressure pumping segment includes cementing and acidizing operations. The company’s operations are focused in the Permian Basin. ProPetro’s fleet consists of 10 hydraulic fracturing units with an aggregate of 420,000 hydraulic horsepower.

The $31 SunTrust price objective is above the $24.35 consensus price target. The shares closed trading most recently at $17.38.

These three hammered sector leaders may not be poised to jump at once, but they could be offering investors looking for oilfield services and energy exposure the best entry point in years. All are leaders and surely will be around when the recovery for the industry comes.

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