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Will Halliburton (HAL) Surprise at Delayed Q1 Earnings Call?

Halliburton Company HAL is set to report first-quarter 2016 earnings on May 3. The company was scheduled to report its earnings on Apr 25 but postponedthe earnings call.

Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 29.17%. In fact, the company has a positive four-quarter average earnings surprise of 28.80%. Let's see what is in store this quarter.   

Factors to Consider   

Houston, TX-based Halliburton is a global oilfield services provider, offering a variety of equipment, maintenance, and engineering and construction services to the energy, industrial, and government sectors. Oil field services players primarily support upstream companies that include drilling firms setting up their oil and gas wells.

The overall operation is positively correlated with oil price. This is because, the lower the price of the commodity, the lesser will be the incentives for upstream players to explore and drill more wells and hence weaker will be the demand for oil field services firms.

During the first quarter, most of the times, crude traded below $40 per barrel. Most importantly, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell to the 12-year low mark in mid February. Overall, the pricing environment is not favorable for upstream operations or oilfield services players. 

All these events might make Halliburton’s prediction of lower sequential revenues from its North American operations come true.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Halliburton Company 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: The company’s Earnings ESP is 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 4 cents.

Zacks Rank: Halliburton has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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 in the energy sector that investors may consider as they 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 (Buy).

Contango Oil & Gas Company MCF with an Earnings ESP of +40.63% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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
 
HALLIBURTON CO (HAL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SEADRILL PTNRS (SDLP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONTANGO OIL&GS (MCF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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