Sage Investment Club

straga/iStock via Getty Images Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) and Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) wobble between modest gains and losses after Benchmark Securities downgraded shares of both gas-focused producers to Hold from Buy, anticipating even lower natural gas prices after already being cut nearly in half since the end of November. Benchmark lowered its forecast for Q4 Henry Hub natgas prices to $3.94/MMBtu from $5.33/MMBtu previously, and a reduction of its long-term gas price deck to $3.50 from $4. Regarding Range Resources (RRC), analyst Subash Chandra said the company should deliver strong free cash flow yield but has limited stock buyback potential as it prioritizes debt reduction over buybacks and dividend hikes. Chandra forecasts Southwestern Energy (SWN) will compile $600M-plus of free cash flow but debt reduction is the company’s top priority for now. Benchmark also lowered price targets on Antero Resources (AR) to $40 from $50 and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) to $115 from $137. Volatile U.S. natural gas futures plunged recently to their lowest in a year.

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