4 Oilfield Services Stocks to Gain From the Prospering Industry

Drilling activities will possibly improve since the crude pricing environment remains extremely favorable. With the expectations that commodity price will remain handsome this year, demand for oilfield services will stay strong, making the outlook for the Zacks Oil and Gas- Field Services industry promising.

Among the frontrunners in the industry that will possibly make the most of the improving business scenario are Schlumberger Limited SLBHalliburton Company HAL,Core Laboratories Inc. CLB and Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, Inc. SOI.

About the Industry

The Zacks Oil and Gas – Field Services industry comprises companies that primarily engage in providing support services to exploration and production players. These companies help in manufacturing, repairing and maintaining wells, drilling equipment, leasing of drilling rigs, seismic testing, as well as transport and directional solutions, among others. Also, the companies help upstream energy players locate oil and natural gas and drill and evaluate hydrocarbon wells. Hence, oilfield services businesses are positively correlated to expenditures from upstream firms. Furthermore, with countries worldwide investing heavily in liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, a few oilfield service companies are extending their reach beyond the hydrocarbon fields and capitalizing on contracts for manufacturing equipment used in LNG facilities to decrease carbon emissions.

3 Trends Defining Oilfield Services Industry’s Future

Favorable Oil Price: The price of West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at more than the $85-per-barrel mark, reflecting a very handsome pricing environment. The attractive commodity price is favorable for exploration and production activities, which will boost demand for oilfield services since oilfield service players assist drillers in efficiently setting up oil wells.

Digital Solutions: Oilfield service players are creating value for clients through digital solutions. With the introduction of a digital platform strategy, companies belonging to the industry are not only accelerating returns but also reducing cycle time. From increasing productivity and efficiency, oilfield service players are also reducing costs and carbon emissions, thereby optimizing cashflows.

Growth in International & North American Markets: Given the favorable upstream business scenarios, it is highly likely that capital spending will ramp up in both North American and international markets. Thus, demand for oilfield services will continue to grow this year and beyond, securing higher earnings.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bullish Outlook

The Zacks Oil and Gas – Field Services is a 22-stock group within the broader Zacks Oil – Energy sector. The industry currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #73, which places it in the top 29% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bullish near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

Before we present a few stocks that you may consider, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.

Industry Outperforms S&P 500 & Sector

The Zacks Oil and Gas – Field Services industry has outperformed the Zacks S&P 500 composite and the broader Zacks Oil – Energy sector over the past year.

The industry has increased 51.8% over this period compared with the S&P 500’s gain of 15.6% and the broader sector’s 6.7% rise.

Industry’s Current Valuation

Since oil and gas companies are debt-laden, it makes sense to value them based on the EV/EBITDA (Enterprise Value/Earnings before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortization) ratio. This is because the valuation metric takes not just equity into account but also the level of debt. For capital-intensive companies, EV/EBITDA is a better valuation metric because it is not influenced by changing capital structures and ignores the effect of non-cash expenses.

On the basis of the trailing 12-month EV/EBITDA, the industry is currently trading at 8.98X compared with the S&P 500’s 13.47X and sector’s 3.49X.

Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 12.27X, as low as 1.00X, with a median of 7.99X.

4 Oilfield Services Stocks Moving Ahead of the Pack

Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure: More of patented equipment and systems of Solaris will likely be deployed to the prolific oil and gas basins in the United States. This is because favorable commodity prices will likely improve upstream activities, increasing demand for those equipment and systems. Currently, Solaris sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Core Laboratories: Being a well-known provider of patented reservoir description and production enhancement services, the companyis well-positioned to grow, thanks to improving demand for reservoir description services. Core Lab, carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy), is also focused on reducing its debt load.

Schlumberger Limited: Schlumberger is a well-known name in transforming the oil and gas industry by employing its cutting-edge solutions. With its quantifiably proven solutions, it is lowering emissions and its impacts. Schlumberger, carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), is likely to see earnings growth of 36.7% this year.

Halliburton Company: Halliburton is also a leading oilfield service player, capitalizing on improving demand for oilfield services. HAL is likely to witness growth in the international market, while values in the North American market are getting maximized. The firm, with a Zacks Rank of 3, is likely to see earnings growth of more than 41% this year.
Schlumberger Limited (SLB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Halliburton Company (HAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Core Laboratories Inc. (CLB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, Inc. (SOI): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

This article originally appeared on Zacks

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