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Pioneer Natural (PXD): What Awaits This Earnings Season?

Independent oil and gas exploration and production company, Pioneer Natural Resources Company PXD is expected to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 25. Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to the announcement.

Last quarter, the company had incurred adjusted loss of 18 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 38 cents. This comes to a positive earnings surprise of 52.63%. Moreover, the company outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.    

Factors Likely to Affect Q1 Results

Pioneer Natural Resources’ oil-weighted reserves base and a large drilling inventory lost momentum in the January–March period owing to high crude stockpiles, as imports increased and refiners scaled down their utilization rates. As a result, Pioneer now expects first-quarter production to average 211–216 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOE/d).

Moreover, in the same period, crude prices declined persistently due to oversupply amid low demand. Almost throughout first-quarter 2016, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude traded significantly below the $40-per-barrel level. In fact, it bottomed in early February at around $26 per barrel. Predictably, the company was able to extract less value for its products. This is sure to put pressure on the company’s first-quarter profit margins.  

The southward march in crude prices provided little incentive to oil exploration and production companies to hire drilling rigs. This amplified the rig oversupply concern. All these are likely to have a negative impact on the results of the quarter to be reported.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Pioneer Natural is likely to beat estimates this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP for the company is -2.70%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at loss of 76 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at loss of 74 cents.  

Zacks Rank: Pioneer Natural carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, a negative ESP makes our surprise prediction difficult.

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

Stocks to Consider

While a beat looks uncertain for Pioneer Natural, here are some firms that have the right combination of elements to outshine earnings estimates:

SunCoke Energy Inc. SXC with an Earnings ESP of +150% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation CHK with an Earnings ESP of +25% and a Zacks Rank #2.

NextEra Energy Partners, LP NEP with an Earnings ESP of +34.21% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. http://www.zacks.com/registration/pfp/?ALERT=RPT_7BST_LP194&... blog">Click to get this free report >>


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
 
PIONEER NAT RES (PXD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CHESAPEAKE ENGY (CHK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NEXTERA ENERGY (NEP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SUNCOKE ENERGY (SXC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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