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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Range Resources, Rice Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Southwestern Energy and WPX Energy

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - June 27, 2017 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC- Free Report ), Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE- Free Report ), Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK- Free Report ), Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN- Free Report ) and WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX- Free Report ).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Natural Gas Supply Glut Narrows on Below-Average Build

The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed a larger-than-expected increase in natural gas supplies, However, the build was well below historical averages that helped the commodity shave off its surplus to the 5-year average.

About the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

The Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report - brought out by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) every Thursday since 2002 - includes updates on natural gas market prices, the latest storage level estimates, recent weather data and other market activities or events.

The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of natural gas. It is an indicator of current gas prices and volatility that affect businesses of natural gas-weighted companies and related support plays.

Analysis of the Data: A Larger-than-Expected Rise in Storage

Stockpiles held in underground storage in the lower 48 states rose by 61 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ended June 16, 2017, above the guidance (of 58 Bcf gain) as per the analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts, a leading independent commodities and energy data provider.

However, the increase was lower than both last year's addition of 63 Bcf and the 5-year (2012-2016) average net injection of 82 Bcf for the reported week. This helped the current storage level - at 2.770 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) - narrow its surplus to the five-year average to 207 Bcf (8.1%), while stocks are 324 Bcf (10.5%) lower than the year-ago figure.

Positive Long-Term Thesis

As of now, the demand situation looks promising with hot conditions prevailing in certain U.S. pockets and power generators burning more gas to meet intensifying cooling demand.

In any case, long-term fundamentals for the commodity continue to be supportive on the back of structural imbalances. While domestic natural gas production is expected to rebound this year, the growing use of liquefied natural gas (or LNG), booming exports to Mexico, replacing coal-fired power plants and higher demand from industrial projects will likely take care of the increased output. The resulting effect will ensure natural gas storage keeping pace with the 5-year average in the near future, with deficits piling up later on.

Over the summer, these secular tailwinds are likely to have a positive impact on natural gas sentiment and price.

The perceived price strength augurs well for natural gas-heavy upstream companies like Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC- Free Report ), Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE- Free Report ), Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK- Free Report ), Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN- Free Report ), WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX- Free Report ), Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and EQT Corp .

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Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Range Resources Corporation (RRC): Free Stock Analysis Report

Rice Energy Inc. (RICE): Free Stock Analysis Report

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK): Free Stock Analysis Report

Southwestern Energy Company (SWN): Free Stock Analysis Report

WPX Energy, Inc. (WPX): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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