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Will Devon Energy (DVN) Disappoint Estimates in Q1 Earnings?

Devon Energy Corporation DVN will release first-quarter 2016 financial results after the market closes on May 3, 2016. In the prior quarter, this oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) company reported a positive surprise of 4.05%. Let’s see how things are shaping up at the company prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider
 
The ongoing softness in commodity prices, along with stiff competition in the oil and gas industry, continues to impact Devon’s operations and financial performance. Undoubtedly cheap oil will have an adverse impact on the company’s first-quarter results.

Amid ongoing weakness in commodity prices, the company has adopted cost saving initiatives to support margins. At the field level, Devon Energy has effectively brought its costs under control. Devon expects to achieve cost savings of $800 million in 2016, a part of which will also ease first-quarter results.

In response to the weak market, Devon Energy also lowered its capital expenditure by nearly 75% from 2015 levels. The company has no long-cycle projects and minimal long-term contracts, which gives it an edge over its peers.

Surprise History

The above chart indicates that Devon Energy was able to deliver positive surprises in three out of the last four quarters. The average positive surprise was 21.13%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Devon Energy 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 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. This is not the case here.

Zacks ESP: This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at a loss of 60 cents while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at  a loss of 58 cents, resulting in -3.45% ESP.

Zacks Rank: Though Devon Energy’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of the ESP, its -3.45% ESP makes a beat uncertain this quarter.

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

Stocks to Consider

Stocks in the U.S. oil and natural gas exploration and production space worth considering on the basis of our model include:

Linn Energy, LLC LINE has an earnings ESP of +600.0% and a Zacks Rank #2. It is expected to report earnings on May 4, 2016.

EP Energy Corp. EPE has an earnings ESP of +1,150.0% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings on May 5, 2016.

Murphy Oil Corp. MUR has an earnings ESP of +24.14% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings after the market close on May 4, 2016.

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 >>


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
 
DEVON ENERGY (DVN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
LINN ENERGY LLC (LINE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MURPHY OIL (MUR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
EP ENERGY CP-A (EPE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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