Chesapeake Energy shares slid 4% Friday, after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to sell and said it expects the company to have less favorable supply cost and corporate returns than rivals. Analysts led by Brian Singer said an analysis of U.S. supply cost/competitive positioning implications from 2018 reserve reports and its own projections for 2019 cash margins found that the median U.S. supply cost to achieve an 11% after-tax rate of return is $53 a barrel. That supports a $50 to $55 a barrel price range for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark. Goldman's mid-cycle price is at the upper end of that range. Analysts are advising clients to buy low cost oil suppliers, Encana Corp. (ECA.T), Parsley Energy Inc. (PE), Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD), EOG Resources Inc. (EOG) and Chevron Corp. (CVX), all of which are buy rated. (The note was published ahead of Chevron's acquisition earlier today of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.) Goldman is recommending selling stocks where their valuation post rally appears at odds with competitive positioning, downgrading Cheseapeake, California Resources Corp. (CRC) and upgrading Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) to neutral. For Chesapeake, " we see less favorable supply cost and corporate returns and believe further leverage improvement is still warranted post-WRD (Wildhorse) acquisition," they wrote in a note. Chesapeake shares have gained 1.3% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.9%.
-Ciara Linnane; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 12, 2019 11:31 ET (15:31 GMT)
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