CHICAGO, Oct. 3, 2011 /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: Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN), Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR), Patterson-UTI Energy (Nasdaq: PTEN) and Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL).
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 Friday's Analyst Blog:
Natural Gas Supply Keeps Growing
The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed a higher-than-expected increase in natural gas supplies, attributable to sagging demand amid robust production.
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 Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN), Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR), Patterson-UTI Energy (Nasdaq: PTEN) and Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL).
Stockpiles held in underground storage in the lower 48 states rose by 111 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ended September 23, 2011, above the guidance range (of 99–103 Bcf gain) of the analysts surveyed by Platts.
The increase – the twenty-fifth injection in as many weeks – is much larger than both last year's build-up of 73 Bcf and the 5-year (2006–2010) average addition of 71 Bcf for the reported week. The current storage level at 3.312 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) is down 91 Bcf (2.7%) from last year, but has crept up by 5 Bcf (0.2%) over the five-year average.
A supply glut had pressured natural gas futures for most of 2010, as production from dense rock formations (shale) – through novel techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – remained robust, thereby overwhelming demand.
Storage amounts hit a record high of 3.840 Tcf in November last year, while gas prices during 2010 fell 21%. As a matter of fact, natural gas prices have dropped more than 70% from a peak of about $13.60 per million Btu (MMBtu) to the current level of around $3.80, in between sinking to a low of $2.50 in September 2009.
However, stocks of the commodity slid approximately 2.261 Tcf during the five-month period (November 5, 2010 to April 1, 2011) on the back of a colder-than-normal end to this past winter, production freeze-offs in January/February, and the steadily declining rig count.
These factors cut into the U.S. supply overhang, thereby creating a deficit in natural gas inventories after erasing the hefty surplus over last year's inventory level and the five-year average level.
However, natural gas demand is currently going through a lean period – with the end of the peak cooling loads for summer and ahead of the winter heating season, coupled with tepid industrial demand in a weak economy.
In fact, natural gas stocks have now exceeded the 5-year average for the first time since the week of April 15. As a result, commodity prices continue to be under pressure against the backdrop of sustained strong production.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.
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
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.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
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.
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.