CHICAGO, Aug. 27, 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 ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) and The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. (NYSE:MHP)
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:
Another Sharp Drop in Crude Supplies
The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed a steep drawdown in crude stockpiles. The report further revealed that within the 'refined products' category, gasoline stocks dropped, while distillate supplies were up from the week-ago levels. Meanwhile, refiners pulled back their utilization rates by 1.4%.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) Petroleum Status Report, which contains data for the previous week ending Friday, outlines information regarding the weekly change in petroleum inventories held and produced by the U.S., both locally and abroad.
The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of petroleum products. It is an indicator of current oil prices and volatility that affect businesses of companies engaged in the oil and refining industry, such as ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO).
Analysis of the Data
Crude Oil: The federal government's EIA report revealed that crude inventories fell by 5.41 million barrels for the week ending August 17, 2012, following a slide of 3.70 million barrels the week before.
Analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. (NYSE:MHP), had expected oil stocks to go down some 2 million barrels. A dip in the level of imports led to the fourth consecutive weekly stockpile drawdown with the world's biggest oil consumer even as refiners lowered their utilization rates.
However, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma – the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange – edged up by 45,000 barrels from previous week's level to 45.24 million barrels. Stocks are just under the all-time high of 47.78 million barrels reached earlier in June.
At 360.75 million barrels, current crude supplies are 2.5% above the year-earlier level, and are over the upper limit of the average for this time of the year. The crude supply cover was down from 23.4 days in the previous week to 23.2 days. In the year-ago period, the supply cover was 22.6 days.
Gasoline: Supplies of gasoline decreased for the fourth time in as many weeks despite domestic consumption declining 2.4% to 9.08 million barrels a day. The fall in gasoline inventories could be attributed to lower production and imports.
The 962,000 barrels drop – slightly below analyst projections – took gasoline stockpiles down to 202.74 million barrels. As a result of this decrease, the existing inventory level of the most widely used petroleum product is now 4.1% off the year-earlier levels and is in the lower limit of the average range.
Distillate: Distillate fuel supplies (including diesel and heating oil) inched up by 992,000 barrels last week, essentially in line with analyst expectations. The rise in distillate fuel stocks – the second in as many weeks – could be attributed to weaker demand and higher production. This was partially offset by lower imports.
At 125.21 million barrels, distillate supplies are 19.6% below the year-ago level and are under the lower limit of the average range for this time of the year.
Refinery Rates: Refinery utilization was down 1.4% from the prior week at 91.2%. Analysts were expecting the refinery run rate to be unchanged at 92.6%.
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.