) touched a 52-week high of $81.66 on Jun 10, 2014. The stock
closed the session at $81.63, reflecting a stable return of 22.0%
over the past three months. The average trading volume for the last
three months was 5,539,170 shares.
The company's recent performance was backed by a continued
portfolio shift to liquids and higher production from new
development programs, as well as upstream ventures in key projects.
However, this was partially offset by lower oil realizations.
ConocoPhillips is progressing on other North American shale plays,
including several emerging areas.
With leading positions in both natural gas and heavy crude oil in
North America, as well as a legacy position in the North Sea and
growing exposure to lucrative international regions, ConocoPhillips
expects to replace reserves and sustain production growth over the
ConocoPhillips' initiatives toward liquids-rich plays are gaining
momentum through the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian plays. The
company is also poised to benefit from a pipeline of projects in
the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), Malaysia, the liquefied natural gas (LNG)
project in Australia, the U.K., Norway, and the Canadian oil sands,
apart from the US Lower 48 liquids-rich plays. Oil sands expansion
projects are also on track.
Since Apr 2012, when the company spun off its refining operations
), it has delivered total shareholder returns of 22%. With this,
ConocoPhillips has shifted its total focus to upstream operations
and thus oil and gas prices play a major role in determining its
performance. The company plans to grow production by maintaining
its growth focus on reserves, through global drilling programs in
legacy assets, unconventional assets and major projects.
ConocoPhillips' margin growth would also be aided by its shift of
production mix to higher-value products. The company expects to
spend $16 billion on average annually and will allocate 95% of its
capital to investments that deliver above-average margins. The
recent activity targets offshore prospects in Australia Angola and
Senegal, conventional exploration in Norway and Indonesia, and
unconventional exploration in North America, Poland and Colombia.
Key Picks in the Sector
ConocoPhillips currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas sector include
Matrix Service Company
), both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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