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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Anadarko Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy, Encana, Ultra Petroleum and Talisman Energy

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CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA), Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL) and Talisman Energy Inc. (NYSE: TLM).

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Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Season's First Nat Gas Drawdown

The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed a larger-than-expected decrease in natural gas supplies on account of the advent of cold weather that prompted  the commodity's brisk use for space heating by residential/commercial consumers. The storage withdrawal – the first for the winter heating season – has also cut the surplus relative to the last year and the five-year average.

About the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report The Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report – brought out by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) every Thursday since 2002 – includes updates on natural gas market prices, the latest storage level estimates, recent weather data and other market activities or events.

The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of natural gas.

It is an indicator of current gas prices and volatility that affect businesses of natural gas-weighted companies and related support plays like Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) and Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA).

Analysis of the Data Stockpiles held in underground storage in the lower 48 states fell by 18 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ended November 9, 2012, higher than the guided range (of 10–14 Bcf gain) as per the analysts surveyed by Platts.

The decrease represents the first withdrawal of the 2012-2013 winter heating season after stocks hit an all-time high in the previous week. More importantly, during this time last year and over the five-year (2007–2011) period, natural gas was still being added into supplies at the respective rates of 20 Bcf and 17 Bcf. Therefore, the weekly storage draw has trimmed the surplus relative to the benchmarks.

But in spite of the 'better-than-expected' draw during the past week, the current storage level – at 3.911 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) – is up 71 Bcf (1.8%) from the last year and 209 Bcf (5.6%) over the five-year average.

In fact, natural gas inventories in underground storage have persistently exceeded the five-year average since late September last year and ended the usual summer stock-building season of April through October at a record 3.923 Tcf (as of October 31, 2012).

A supply glut kept the natural gas prices under pressure during the past year or so, as production from dense rock formations (shale) – through novel techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – remains robust, thereby overwhelming demand.

However, with the upcoming U.S. winter set to be colder than the unusually warm last one and domestic output likely to drop in 2013 versus 2012 on the back of natural gas players announcing drilling/volume curtailments, we might expect some balancing of the commodity's supply/demand disparity.

This, in turn, could improve the prices and buoy natural gas producers like Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL), Talisman Energy Inc. (NYSE: TLM) Encana and Chesapeake.

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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Zacks Investment Research

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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