EQT has the most “buy” recommendations, with 65% of analysts surveyed rating it as a “buy” and 30% rating it as a “hold.” The remaining 5% rated it a “sell.”
Several factors have boosted the Market’s optimism for EQT despite lower energy prices. These factors include EQT’s decent 1Q16 performance, rising production, higher margins in the Marcellus Shale, its hedges, and a strong financial position. The stock’s consensus 12-month target price of $27.41 implies positive returns of 7% over the next 12 months.
Noble Energy (NBL) is also popular among analysts, with ~63% rating it as a “buy” and 34% rating it as a “hold.” The remaining 3% rated it a “sell.” This is likely due to its efforts toward cost efficiencies and higher production growth compared to its peers.
NBL’s consensus 12-month target price of $43.45 implies positive returns of 20% over the next 12 months.
Antero Resources and Cabot Oil and Gas
AR and COG have the lowest number of “buy” recommendations at 48.4% and 42%, respectively. Another 48.4% of analysts recommend a “hold” for AR, and ~55% recommend a “hold” for COG. The remaining 3.2% have “sell” recommendations for AR, while 3% have “sell” recommendations for COG.
COG’s consensus 12-month target price of $32.63 implies a return of 8% in the next 12 months. AR’s 12-month consensus target of $27.41 implies a return of 28%—the largest in the group under review in this series.
Thus, AR and NBL are expected to deliver the highest returns in the next 12 months. All these companies comprise 8.6% of the iShares US Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (IEO).