U.S. energy firm
) announced that it plans to invest $8.5 billion in exploration
and production activities in 2014. A major chunk (about 64%) of
this investment will be focused on onshore North America.
However, this capex is considerably lower than the $10.0 billion
spent last year on account of a smaller asset base.
APACHE CORP (APA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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With the completion of nearly 1,300 wells, Apache was an active
driller in onshore North America in 2013. The company expects
this trend to continue in 2014.
Apache expects North America onshore liquids production to grow
15-18% in 2014. This will be a significant growth factor for the
company considering the fact that the region's onshore assets
comprise nearly 60% of Apache's total production. The company
also projects a two-figure global liquids expansion and 5-8%
global oil and gas production growth in 2014.
Apache also mentioned that it intends to sell part of its 50%
stake in the Kitimat liquefied natural gas project. Apache is the
upstream operator of the project whereas partner,
) is the operator of the downstream operations.
Apache is working toward delivering value and gaining investor
confidence through dividend payments and share repurchases. The
company recently increased dividend by 25% to 25 cents per share
and has repurchased about $1.2 billion of stock in 2013 and
However, much remains to be achieved as is apparent from the
dismal fourth quarter results, whereby the company reported a
13.26% negative surprise. This is also evident from the negative
sentiment that prevails in the market, which resulted in a 3.9%
fall in shares post the announcement.
Apache currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it
is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity
market over the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can consider better-ranked players from the
industry such as
Warren Resources Inc.
Athlon Energy Inc.
). Both these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).