We retain our Neutral recommendation on
Noble Energy Inc.
). The oil and gas exploration as well as production operator
currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Why the Reiteration?
Noble Energy recorded yet another earnings surprise in the
second quarter of 2013 backed by production ramp-up in the U.S.
onshore assets as well as rising natural gas sales from the Tamar
field, off the coast of Israel.
The reiteration, however, takes into account the increasing
political disturbance in the Middle East and West Africa as well
as the highly volatile oil and gas price conditions. The current
conflict in Syria has lent a hand in the fluctuating oil price
New emerging plays like the Troubadour discovery in the Gulf
of Mexico and the Karish prospect in Israel will offer
significant growth opportunities in the years ahead. Noble
Energy's agreement with the Cyprus government for the creation of
a liquefied natural gas export terminal will also help strengthen
the company's operations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Nonetheless, the threat of operational disruption from severe
storms might put the company's operations at risk. Notably, most
of Noble's assets are located offshore.
Finally, accelerated horizontal programs at the Niobrara basin
and anticipated service start-ups of the Kyoto and Tioga gas
plants in Colorado and North Dakota, respectively, will
substantially benefit Noble.
Other Stocks to Consider
Oil and gas industry players looking good at the moment are
Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy)
Whiting Petroleum Corp.
Range Resources Corp.
VOC Energy Trust
NOBLE ENERGY (NBL): Free Stock Analysis
RANGE RESOURCES (RRC): Free Stock Analysis
VOC ENERGY TRST (VOC): Free Stock Analysis
WHITING PETROLM (WLL): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.