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What to Expect from Whiting Petroleum Stock in 2018

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Whiting Petroleum stock

Whiting Petroleum (WLL) stock slowed down last week, rising just 0.50% in the week ended January 19. Year-over-year, the stock has fallen ~41%.

WLL stock’s uptrend likely slowed down in the previous week due to weak crude oil (USO)(UCO) prices. Crude oil prices fell 1.4% in the week ended January 19. However, on a YoY basis, crude oil prices have risen 21%. Meanwhile, natural gas prices (UNG)(UGAZ) have fallen ~4.3% during the period.

As you can see in the graph above, Whiting Petroleum has been on an uptrend, mainly due to rising crude oil prices (USO)(UCO).

However, Whiting Petroleum has underperformed the energy sector (XLE), which fell 0.28% on a YoY basis. It also underperformed the broader market (SPY)(SPX-INDEX), which rose ~24.8% during the period.

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4Q17 and fiscal 2017 earnings: Impact on Whiting Petroleum stock

Whiting’s revenue and earnings in 4Q17 are expected to be better than the previous year. Stronger crude oil prices in 4Q17 are likely expected to support higher revenues in 4Q17 and fiscal 2017. Whiting Petroleum is expected to report its 4Q17 and fiscal 2017 earnings on February 20. Investors will likely watch to see how Whiting Petroleum’s upcoming earnings could impact its stock. Crude oil makes up a major chunk of Whiting Petroleum’s total production. In 3Q17, ~84% of Whiting Petroleum’s production was made up of crude oil and natural gas liquids.

Investors could also be watching Whiting Petroleum’s capex plans for 2018. Whiting Petroleum’s capital budget for 2017 was $1.1 billion, which was reduced to $950 million. However, the increased capex wasn’t supported by a production growth forecast. Whiting Petroleum’s production guidance for 2017 was 117.5 Mboepd (thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day)—compared to its production of ~130 Mboepd in 2016. This change had negatively impacted WLL’s stock in 2017. So capex plans and production forecasts could be a key driver of WLL’s stock in 2018.

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