Eq: Energy (81)
Energy Sector Earnings Forecast to Decline 21% in 2023Written by FINSUM
In an article previewing the first quarter earnings season for the energy sector for Zacks Investment Research, Sheraz Mian discussed the major factors for why analysts are forecasting 2023 earnings to decline by about 21% compared to 2022.
The major factor is that prices are down by about 25% when compared to last year. Additionally, costs are going up faster than expected, leading to downwards pressure on margins. Given these uncertainties, companies continue to be conservative in terms of CAPEX and optimizing balance sheet health.
In terms of the outlook for crude oil prices in 2023, the major headwind is weaker demand as economic growth decelerates across the world. Many expect the US economy to stumble into a recession later this year as the Fed keeps rates high to tamp down on inflationary pressures. Additionally, Chinese growth has also been less robust than expected following the end of its Covid policies.
This is sufficient enough of a headwind to offset bullish impulses from OPEC cutting production, sanctions on Russian oil production, and the US government restocking its depleted crude oil inventories.
Finsum: Earnings for the energy sector are expected to be down 21% compared to last year as recession concerns dominate.
Energy Stocks Lower Despite Strong Earnings SeasonWritten by FINSUM
In an article for the Financial Times, Derek Brower discussed recent weakness in energy stocks due to increasing worries of a recession despite a recent string of strong earnings reports. This follows a two year rally which was fueled by production cuts in 2020, a better than expected economy, and the war in Ukraine.
Last year, the energy sector was up more than 50%, while the S&P 500 finished down double-digits. This year in contrast, the S&P 500 has an 8% gain, while the energy sector is down 5%.
According to Wall Street analysts, investors are looking past companies’ strong results due to expectations that recent trouble in the banking sector will translate into reduced economic activity and demand for crude oil.
Another indication is that dividend yields in energy stocks are nearly double those found in financial stocks and quadruple those of tech stocks. Inflation is proving to be a significant headwind as production costs have increased, eroding margins with lower oil prices. Another is that productivity in the Permian Basin has declined by 30% over the last 2 years, another reason that margin contraction is likely.
Finsum: Following major outperformance in 2022, energy stocks have underperformed so far this year due to increasing recession fears.
3 Reasons Why Goldman is Bullish on EnergyWritten by FINSUM
In an article for Oilprice.com, Alex Kimani discussed three reasons why Goldman Sachs is bullish on the energy sector. The bank sees Brent and WTI crude oil trending higher to $100 and $95 per barrel over the next 12 months, respectively.
The bank sees faster growth in China as supportive of commodity demand overall. Regarding energy, it sees supply pressures from OPEC+ production cuts, embargoes on Russian crude shipments and global growth as key drivers.
Some other reasons cited for favoring energy are attractive valuations. Currently, it has a P/E ratio of 6.7 which is the cheapest among the 11 major sectors, and this is considerably cheaper than the S&P 500’s P/E of 22.
Despite a slowing economy and lower energy prices, Q1 earnings have remained quite strong. Net margins improved from 11.8% to 10.4%. This is in contrast to most sectors which are experiencing margin compression. Further, earnings are forecast to remain stable over the next couple of years due to low capex, higher costs for new projects, and geopolitical risk.
Overall, energy stocks offer investors attractive valuations and robust earnings growth potential. The longer-term picture remains attractive due to longer-term supply trends, while demand is expected to remain steady.
Not all’s quiet in middle town AmericaWritten by FINSUM
The Land of Oz? Um, not exactly.
While clearing the Kansas legislature, a proposal aimed at standing in the way of investing that bears in mind environmental, social and governance factors, butted against headwinds; namely, divisions within its GOP minorities that have watered down the measure, according to timesunion.com. It represented a setback among some conservatives.
In the last two years, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia are among at least seven states that have enacted anti-ESG laws. Additionally, two GOP governors, Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Greg Gianforte of Montana moved to ensure the funds in their states weren’t invested with ESG principles in mind.
“We right here wanted to focus on what we control — state pensions, state investments, government contracts, stuff like that,” said Republican state Rep. Nick Hoheisel, of Wichita, chair of the House committee handling the legislation, reported usnews.com.
“It’s still a panicked response to a fake issue that’s been created by right-wing media,” said state Rep. Rui Xu, a Kansas City-area Democrat.
Those who are aligned with ESG principles maintain that, financially, it makes sense to keep in mind issues like whether a shift to green energy adds more risk to investing in fossil fuel companies.
IEA: Global Oil Demand to Hit New Highs in 2023Written by FINSUM
On March 15th, the International Energy Agency raised its estimate for global oil demand in 2023 by another 100,000 b/d as rebounding air traffic and pent-up Chinese demand push consumption to record highs. In its latest monthly oil report, the energy watchdog said it now sees global oil demand averaging 102.02 million b/d in 2023. That’s 2 million b/d higher than in 2022. The IEA estimates that gains will accelerate over the year, rising to 2.6 million b/d year on year in the fourth quarter, from 710,000 b/d in the current quarter. In the report, IEA stated, "Global oil demand growth started 2023 with a whimper but is projected to end the year with a bang .... Rebounding jet fuel use and a resurgent China will see an overall Q1-Q4 ramp-up of 3.2 million b/d, the largest relative in-year increase since 2010 with oil use surging to 103.2 million b/d in second-half 2023." The agency attributes the rise in demand to China's economic momentum, with rebounding February Purchasing Managers' Index data and robust air traffic demand. The IEA said Chinese mobility mostly stabilized after January's "remarkable bounce." It also added that Chinese air traffic with domestic flights is now well above pre-pandemic levels. Due to this, the IEA raised its estimate for Chinese jet/kerosene demand by 60,000 b/d.
Finsum:In its recent monthly oil market report, the International Energy Agency raised its estimate for global oil demand this year by another 100,000 b/d as rebounding air traffic and pent-up Chinese demand push consumption to record highs.
Offshore Oil Rebound UnderwayWritten by FINSUM
While offshore oil drilling has been growing slowly in recent years, research firm Rystad Energy expects a surge in new spending over the next two years. Energy companies had previously been hesitant to commit to expensive new projects that can take years to pay off. But with oil and gas demand rising after the pandemic, some companies are now looking for projects that can offer reliable production in the longer term. According to Rystad Energy, the offshore oil and gas industry has $214 billion of new project investments lined up in the next two years, the highest two-year total in a decade. In fact, it will mark the first time since 2012-2013 that companies have spent this much to develop offshore projects. According to Rystad, “Offshore activity is expected to account for 68% of all sanctioned conventional hydrocarbons in 2023 and 2024, up from 40% between 2015-2018.” Middle Eastern producers will account for most of the growth, however, there are projects off several continents. For example, U.K. offshore spending is expected to rise 30% this year to $7 billion, while spending on Norwegian projects could increase 22% to $21 billion, according to Rystad. Plus, North America, Brazil, and Guyana are all seeing growth as well.
Finsum:According to research firm Rystad Energy, a surge in new spending for offshore oil drilling is expected over the next two years as companies look for projects that can offer reliable production in the longer term with oil and gas demand rising.
Broad Consensus: Oil Prices Expected to Rise Throughout the YearWritten by FINSUM
While oil prices fluctuate constantly, there is a broad consensus that prices will rise throughout 2023. For instance, Forbes' Bill Sarubbi noted that the technical data of oil trading suggests prices are going to go higher. In a recent article, Sarubbi said that historical data shows oil prices tend to rise between March and May most of the time, therefore it makes sense to expect prices to rise this year as well. Data analytics firm Refinitiv singled out two factors that will drive prices on the supply and demand sides, Russia and China. Refinitiv expects Brent crude to rise above $100 per barrel by the end of the year and average $90 for the full year. The company said at a recent industry event that oil demand this year will surge by 2 million barrels daily and that China will account for half that. In addition, Russia's supply will tighten this month and maybe remain tight, which adds upward pressure to oil prices. Plus, Goldman Sachs senior energy economist Daan Struyven recently reiterated the bank's forecast for higher oil prices due to the lag between an oil market shock and the effect of the shock manifesting in futures prices.
Finsum:There is a broad consensus that oil prices will rise through the year due to technical data of oil trading suggesting prices are going to go higher, demand from China, tightened Russian supply, and the lag between an oil market shock and the effect of the shock manifesting in futures prices.
BP’s CEO Warns of Price Spikes If Supply is Cut Too QuicklyWritten by FINSUM
With ESG investors pressuring companies to transition to sustainable businesses, BP’s chief executive Bernard Looney is warning that the energy transition needs to happen in an orderly fashion or else oil and gas prices will spike if supply is cut too quickly without a drop in demand. Looney stated the following at the recent International Energy Week event in London, "Reducing supply without also reducing demand inevitably leads to price spikes – price spikes, leads to economic volatility." He added that we need, “Affordable energy flowing where and when it's needed... Investing in energy security and the energy transition. This is Looney’s second warning for the need for an "orderly transition.” In early February, he stressed "an orderly" transition when he announced that BP would be producing more oil and gas for longer, and now aims for a fall of 20% to 30% in emissions from the carbon in its oil and gas production in 2030 compared to a 2019 baseline, lower than the previous aim of 35-40%. At the London event, he also noted that “People today want an energy system that works. That provides secure, affordable, and low-carbon energy - what the Energy Institute calls the triple energy crisis."
Finsum:At a recent energy event in London, BP CEO Bernard Looney warned for the second time that the energy transition needs to happen in an orderly fashion or else oil and gas prices will spike.
Analysts: Big Oil Has Passed its PeakWritten by FINSUM
After two years of surging growth, this earnings season could mark the beginning of energy company profits coming back down to earth. That is according to Wall Street analysts who believe Big Oil has passed its peak. However, the ride down is expected to be slow, with companies still expected to bring in large profits for some time. Last year was a boon to oil and gas companies. The energy sector ended the year up 64.56% as sky-high oil and gas prices were one of the largest contributors to inflation. The sector thrived with a hawkish Fed, high inflation, economic uncertainty, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But analysts don’t believe this will continue for much longer. HSBC Global Research analysts wrote in a note that “Although 2023 should remain a solid year for the integrated oils, there is less headroom than we envisaged just a couple of months ago given the correction in oil prices and halving in European gas prices.” In addition, Bank of America estimates that earnings for the fourth quarter from oil and gas producers will be down 11% from third-quarter levels. Doug Leggate, a Bank of America research analyst, wrote in a recent note that “In our view, upcoming earnings for the US oils will be one of the most consequential in several years. It is now clear that the best quarter for many US oils has passed.”
Finsum:While oil and gas companies thrived in last year’s conditions, Wall Street analysts think profits will eventually come back down to earth due to a recent correction in oil prices and the halving of European gas prices.
Surveys: Higher Oil Prices Expected in 2023Written by FINSUM
Oil stocks were some of the best investments last year as the energy sector gained 64.56%. Oil stocks could once again have another good year if oil prices rise as investors and firms expect them to. According to the latest Bloomberg MLIV Pulse survey, both professional and retail investors see higher oil prices over the next six months, with retail traders, in particular, even more bullish than professional investors. Investors are not alone in predicting a rise in oil prices. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently surveyed 152 energy firms in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. Based on the results of the survey, the industry is expecting marginally higher oil prices in 2023. When asked what they believe the price of WTI would be at the end of the year, the average answer was $84 per barrel. The spot price for WTI was $73.67 at the time of the survey. The are several reasons for companies and investors to be bullish on oil this year. Oil prices could rise on optimism that China reopens its economy after implementing severe COVID restrictions. In addition, both OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) see the global oil market tightening in the second half of the year. With the supply of global oil below the demand, prices should rise.
Finsum:Both investors and energy firms expect the price of oil to rise based on China's reopening and OPEC and IEA’s view that the global oil market is tightening.
With Natural Gas Prices Falling, Expect Better Valuations for Energy StocksWritten by FINSUM
In a year when almost every S&P 500 sector was in the red, the energy sector surged 64.56%, according to S&P data. While the portfolios of energy investors looked great, energy bills for the home were another story. High energy prices took a bite out of the household budgets for many. However, a reversal seems to be in play this month. The energy sector is now under pressure as natural-gas prices have fallen more than 60% from their 52-week high due to a warmer-than-expected winter. While energy prices falling is good for household budgets, it’s bad news for energy stock investors. Matt Portillo, head of research at Tudor, Pickering, Holt, told Barron’s that “The warmer-than-expected winter pulled forward the expected decline in natural gas price. Stocks could fall an additional 20% to 30% until they find a bottom.” Wall Street analysts expect more volatility in natural-gas prices in the months ahead, but patient investors can look forward to better valuations for energy stocks in the second half of the year. Paul Diamond, an analyst at Citigroup, wrote in a note Tuesday that “We expect the coming volatility to present a better entry point than is currently available and expect recent volatility to persist through the winter, at which point eyes will turn to the build for next winter.”
Finsum:With natural gas prices falling due to a warmer-than-expected winter, energy stock prices have taken a hit, which could lead to more attractive valuations in the second half of the year.
ESG Performance in 2023 May Depend on OilWritten by FINSUM
While ESG has continued to come under fire from both politicians and regulators, ESG fund assets have continued to grow. In fact, sustainable fund assets grew 0.84% through November, which is better than the 1.1% decline for all funds, according to Morningstar. However, the performance of these funds has not been great; but that's not due to political or regulatory pressure. According to analysts, the reason that ESG funds have underperformed this year is that they missed out on the best performing sector this year, which was energy. ESG funds typically don’t hold stocks of oil companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron that have performed so well this year. According to Morningstar, the average large-cap stock ESG fund has lost nearly 20% through Dec. 21st. That’s about 2.4% worse than the S&P 500 Index. The question is, will that continue into 2023? The answer depends on whether oil companies will continue to outperform. Energy strategists differ in their opinions. Morningstar energy strategist Stephen Ellis thinks it’s unlikely, since “we see the stocks as fairly valued to expensive,” while Fidelity portfolio manager Maurice Fitzmaurice wrote recently “that oil and gas demand should keep growing as effects of the Covid pandemic pass, while lost supplies from Russia prod oil prices to rise.”
Finsum:The performance of ESG funds next year will likely depend on whether oil companies will continue to outperform.
Analysts Increasing Estimates for Energy StocksWritten by FINSUM
There’s no question that energy was the best-performing sector this year in what was a dismal year for equities. But how will the sector fare in 2023? If analyst expectations are correct, we could be in for another great year for energy stocks. According to FactSet data, analysts have increased estimates for only two sectors next year, energy and utilities. EPS estimates for energy stocks have seen a 4.4% rise in expectations, while utility stock estimates have risen 0.9%. This is in stark contrast to the other 9 sectors in the S&P 500, where analysts have been trimming their earnings per share forecasts for 2023, with downward revisions between September 30 and November 30. Due to these upward earnings expectations and relatively cheap valuations, energy stocks are poised to continue their rise next year, even as oil prices have pulled back from the year’s highs. Oil companies have been cautious despite the surge in oil prices earlier in the year. CIBC Private Wealth U.S. Sr. Energy Trader Rebecca Babin told Yahoo Finance Live that companies “are not making rash decisions about increasing production based on swings in oil prices. They are less levered. They are more disciplined, and they are super focused on returning to cash.” Plus, market strategists expect oil to move higher next year with China expected to reopen its economy after years of COVID closures.
Finsum:Energy stocks are expected to continue to move higher next year due to increased analyst estimates, relatively cheap valuations, and higher demand for oil by China.
Piling on liberallyWritten by FINSUM
Those darn liberals seem to burning energy on something again – at least according to the Republican staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, stated mondaq.com.
The recently released report, entitled "The New Emperors: Responding to the Growing Influence of the Big Three Asset Managers," delved into the nuts and bolts of their concerns; namely that large asset managers are leveraging their proxy voting power in the name of "liberal social goals." They’re described in the report as more broadly including diversity and inclusion and ESG considerations.
Claims lodged by the report: the application of power, in the form of significant voting influence on corporate policy rather than making the most of getting the most of investor profits by the “Big Three,” BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard.
A regulation entitled “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights” (the “Final Rule”), was published by the U.S. Department of Labor, according to usbenefits.law.
The Final Rule didn’t leave much to the imagination. Numerous times. the DOL, stressed the regulation was focused mainly on extracting and fixing the impact of ESG investing by plan fiduciaries.