Which 5 Top Natural Gas Stocks Have the Strongest Earnings Trends?

Earnings trends are extremely important when evaluating stocks. At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we view increasing earnings quarter-over-quarter as a simple way to gauge whether costs and the business model are stable. Then we like to analyze whether the company is outperforming peers in the sector. This is what we call the “E-Squared” investment analysis (‘E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter’ + ‘E = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector’).

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how these top 5 natural gas stocks rank via earnings trends:

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK): Current Price $19.61

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 11,630 7,702 9,366 11,640 12,320
Diluted EPS ($) 0.93 -9.57 2.51 2.32 -1.46

Though revenue has grown at a nice clip at Chesapeake, EPS is too bouncy for our liking, and we are also worried about that big negative number in 2012.

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Next, our CHEAT SHEET investing framework asks us to drill down to the recent quarterly data:

Quarter Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 2,728 2,419 3,389 2,970 3,539
Diluted EPS ($) 0.73 -0.11 1.29 -3.19 0.39

But Chesapeake seems to have got it right in December 2012 after reporting a sharp jump in top-line and EPS. We’ll keep it on our list for now…