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What's in Store for Range Resources (RRC) in Q1 Earnings?

Range Resources Corporation RRC is expected to report first-quarter 2016 earnings on Apr 28, after the market closes.

In the preceding three-month period, the independent upstream energy company delivered a 9,750.00% negative earnings surprise. Moreover, the company posted an average miss of 2,371.43% for the trailing four quarters amid weak oil prices.    

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

Factors Likely to Affect Earnings

Range Resources’ diversified asset portfolio is spread between low-risk/long reserve life Appalachian assets and the large-volume/rapid-payout Gulf Coast properties. The company has an impressive inventory in the Marcellus Shale – one of the prominent emerging shale plays in the U.S. lower 48. The company is advantageously positioned to benefit from these projects.

Given its dominant position in the Marcellus Shale play and its continuous endeavor to control costs, we believe that Range Resources will be capable of shareholder value creation.

For the first quarter, the company anticipates output of 1,350 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) almost the same as the year-ago quarter. However, as gas pricing fundamentals were weaker than the prior-year comparable quarter and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude price a hit 12-year low mark during mid Feb, Range Resources has not been able to extract as much value for its products as expected. This has put the company’s profit margins under pressure.    

Earnings Whispers

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

Zacks ESP: Earnings ESP for Range Resources is -15.39% as the Most Accurate estimate stands at a loss of 30 cents while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged narrower at a loss of 26 cents.

Zacks Rank: Range Resources carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Though a favorable Zacks Rank increases the predictive power of ESP, the company’s negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

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

Here are some companies from the same space that, according to our model, 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
 
RANGE RESOURCES (RRC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SEADRILL PTNRS (SDLP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONTANGO OIL&GS (MCF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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