For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL - October 22, 2015 - 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 the Chesapeake Energy Corp. ( CHK ), Range Resources Corp. ( RRC ), Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. ( COG ), Rice Energy Inc. ( RICE ), and Eclipse Resources Corp. ( ECR ).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Natural Gas Slips to 3-Year Low on Bearish Inventory Build
The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed a larger-than-expected increase in natural gas supplies. Following the bearish inventory news, natural gas prices tanked to their lowest level since Jun 2012.
As it is, the commodity is still averaging less than half of what it did some 5 to 6 years back. With production remaining plentiful and expected to outpace demand for most of 2015, the commodity is likely to stay depressed for a while.
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
Stockpiles held in underground storage in the lower 48 states rose by 100 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ended Oct 9, 2015, above the guided range (of 91-95 Bcf gain) as per the analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Financial Inc. However, the increase - the 28th successive weekly injection - was also more than both last year's build of 96 Bcf and the 5-year (2010-2014) average addition of 87 Bcf for the reported week.
Following past week's climb, the current storage level - at 3.733 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) - is up 447 Bcf (13.6%) from last year and is 168 Bcf (4.7%) above the five-year average.
Natural Gas Drops after Supply Data
Gas prices skidded to $2.50 per MMBtu Thursday in a selloff spurred by the above-average injection into storage. The commodity slid further over the next few trading sessions and was down 3% for the week, settling at $2.43 per MMBtu on Friday.
Prices Likely to Stay Depressed
Demand for the fuel is expected to be moderate in the near-term amid predictions of waning requirement with forecasts of mild autumn temperatures.
As it is, natural gas prices are way off the heights reached some years back. From a peak of about $13.50 per MMBtu in 2008 to below $3 now - sinking in between to a 10-year low of under $2 in 2012 - the plummeting value of natural gas represents a decline of around 80% over seven years.
With production from the major shale plays remaining strong and the commodity's demand failing to keep pace with this supply surge, natural gas prices have been held back. Even the summer cooling demand has been of little help.
The price weakness translates into limited upside for natural gas-weighted companies including the likes of Chesapeake Energy Corp. ( CHK ), Range Resources Corp. ( RRC ), Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.( COG ), Rice Energy Inc. ( RICE ), and Eclipse Resources Corp. ( ECR ).
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Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
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