Equinor (EQNR) Plans Layoffs to Survive Coronavirus Onslaught

Equinor ASA EQNR is planning layoffs as a measure to cut costs to survive the coronavirus pandemic, per Reuters. The layoffs will be from the integrated energy firm’s operations in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

The company, with an employee base of 21,000 as of 2019-end, intends to lower headcount by roughly 20%. Equinor will also dismiss half of its contractors. With crude pricing scenario remaining weak, as the virus outbreak has dented global energy demand, energy players across the world are reducing headcount.

As an additional measure, the energy major has decided to stop drilling new unconventional wells in the United States where the company has footprint in the prolific shale plays comprising Bakken and Marcellus.

The weak commodity prices hurt Equinor in the June quarter of 2020, when the company reported a year-over-year decline in earnings. Notably, Equinor reported second-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per ADR of 19 cents, comparing favorably with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 13 cents. However, earnings deteriorated from 34 cents reported in the year-ago quarter.

Equinor ASA Price

Equinor ASA Price

Equinor ASA price | Equinor ASA Quote

Headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, Equinor currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, a few better-ranked players in the energy space are Cimarex Energy Co XEC, Concho Resources Inc. CXO and EOG Resources, Inc. EOG, each holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cimarex Energy has seen upward earnings estimate revisions for 2020 in the past 30 days.

Concho is likely to see earnings growth of 21.6% in 2020.

EOG Resources’ 2020 bottom-line estimates have risen more than 200% over the past 30 days.

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