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What's in Store for Cabot (COG) this Earnings Season?

Upstream energy firm Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation COG is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 29, before the market opens.

Last quarter, Cabot posted an earnings surprise of 0.00%. In fact, during the last four quarters, the company posted an average positive earnings surprise of 41.67%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.    

Factors to Consider this Quarter  

Cabot's diversified asset portfolio, which spreads between the low-risk/long reserve-life Appalachian assets and large-volume/rapid-payout Gulf Coast properties, helps it to achieve industry leading rates of return.

The company is a natural gas dominated exploration firm, with more than 94% of its total production coming from the commodity (per full-year 2015 results). However, weak pricing of the commodity owing to abundant supply might reflect negatively on the upcoming results.

With gas pricing fundamentals weaker than the prior-year quarter and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude price touching the 12-year low mark in mid Feb, Cabot has not been able to extract as much value for its products as expected. This has put the group’s profit margins under pressure.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Cabot is likely to beat on earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESPand a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here, as you will see below. 

Zacks ESP:Cabot currently has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at a loss of 13 cents.

Zacks Rank:Cabot carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Though this increases the predictive power, a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

McDermott International Inc. MDR with an Earnings ESP of +100.00% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Contango Oil & Gas Company MCF with an Earnings ESP of +40.63% and a Zacks Rank #2.  

Seadrill Partners LLC SDLP has an Earnings ESP of +3.03% and a Zacks Rank #2.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
MCDERMOTT INTL (MDR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CABOT OIL & GAS (COG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SEADRILL PTNRS (SDLP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONTANGO OIL&GS (MCF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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