One would think that President Biden’s initiative on climate change would be the worst possible scenario for the energy sector. He stopped construction on the XL pipeline, halted drilling on government land and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement via executive order, putting a shudder through energy investors. According to many on Wall Street, the reality is that politics often takes a backseat to supply/demand dynamics. Nothing proves that more than the rise in energy prices as wind farms were shut down from the brutal cold that swept Texas and other parts of the country.
There is another factor that could be huge for the top companies in the sector, as West Texas Intermediate crude surges past $60 a barrel, which is the highest level in over a year. In a new Truist Securities report, outstanding energy analyst Neal Dingmann points out that some of the top companies in the industry have no hedges on their production. That means that not only will none of their production be taken at lower levels that the market is currently at, they also can sell at any time as the price rises, or hedge some if they choose later.
Five companies with stocks rated Buy have zero hedges currently on their production. While things can certainly change, the X factor of the economy reopening and travel returning could keep some support under pricing. It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
This company has long been considered an industry leader, and its stock is perhaps offering one of the best entry points in the sector. Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) is an independent energy company that explores for, develops and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company has operations in onshore assets located in the Permian and Midcontinent/Gulf Coast onshore regions, and offshore assets situated in the Gulf of Mexico region. It also holds onshore assets in Egypt’s Western desert and offshore assets in the North Sea region, including the United Kingdom.
On Jan. 14, 2021, Apache and Total announced an oil discovery at the Keskesi East-1 exploration well in Block 58 offshore Suriname. This follows the January, April and July 2020 announcements of discoveries at the Maka Central-1, Sapakara West-1 and Kwaskwasi-1 wells, respectively. The next exploration well on Block 58 will be at the Bonboni location.
The Truist Securities price target for the shares is $22, and the Wall Street consensus target is $19.61. Apache stock retreated almost 6% on Thursday and closed at $17.63 a share.