On Jun 18, Zacks Investment Research upgraded oil refiner,
), to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
The operating environment and growth prospects seem bright for
Phillips, as reflected by the rising earnings estimates for this
company. Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for
2013 rose 3.6% to $8.09 per share, as most of the estimates (10
out of 12 estimates) were revised higher.
The momentum has been strong since Phillips released its
first-quarter earnings results on May 1. Adjusted earnings per
share came in at $2.19, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
$1.86 by 17.7% and improving 82.5% from $1.20 a year ago. The
outperformance was mainly backed by strong margins from chemical
and refining units.
With respect to the earnings trend, Phillips delivered positive
earnings surprises in the last 5 quarters with an average beat of
24.6%. The long-term expected earnings growth projections of
6.4%, is also fairly impressive.
Phillips, an independent publicly traded company, was formed
after the spin-off of the refining/sales business of
) in May 2012, has a good capital deployment policy through share
repurchase and payment of dividends. During the first quarter of
2013, the company returned $576 million to shareholders through
$194 million in dividend payments and $382 million in share
repurchases. The dividend payment during this quarter represents
an increase of 23.6% as compared to $157 million paid in the last
Other Stocks to Consider
There are certain other firms in the energy sector that are worth
considering. These include
Cheniere Energy Partners LP
). Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
CONOCOPHILLIPS (COP): Free Stock Analysis
CHENIERE ENERGY (CQP): Get Free Report
INTEROIL CORP (IOC): Free Stock Analysis
PHILLIPS 66 (PSX): Free Stock Analysis Report
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