3 Oil Stocks Seeing Buyers After Earnings Releases

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for ConocoPhillips rose to $3.39 billion ($2.56 per share) vs. $2.04 billion ($1.39 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 66.1% from the year earlier quarter. COP reported adjusted net income of $2.02 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $1.83 per share.

“We operated well during the fourth quarter,” said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer. “Production and refinery utilization met expectations. For the year, we replaced 120 percent of our 2011 production with organic reserves across our asset base. We continued execution of our 2010-2012 repositioning plan, including $4.8 billion of asset sales and $11.1 billion of share repurchases during the year. We are also progressing plans to create two leading energy companies during the second quarter of 2012.”

Competitors to Watch: Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE:SNP), TOTAL S.A. (NYSE:TOT) and Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO).

Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, missing analysts’ forecast. Reported a loss of $131 million (39 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. Hess Corporation had a net income of $58 million or 18 cents per share in the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 8.1% to $9.73 billion from the year earlier quarter. HES fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $1.34 per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $8.6 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), BP plc (NYSE:BP), TOTAL S.A. (NYSE:TOT), Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:OXY), and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE:SNP).

Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, missing analysts’ forecast. Reported a loss of $113.9 million (59 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The oil and gas refining and marketing company had net income of $174.1 million or 89 cents per share in the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 22.5% to $6.82 billion from the year earlier quarter. MUR fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $1.41 per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $6.42 billion.

David M. Wood, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The year 2011 was an important year for Murphy Oil. The sale of our two U.S. refineries was a key step in our strategy to reposition the Company and we are now focused on the divestiture of the U.K. downstream assets. Activity in our North American resource plays ramped up as we accelerated oil developments in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and the Seal heavy oil project in northern Alberta. We also brought Tupper West in British Columbia onstream ahead of schedule in late February and have recently achieved full plant capacity. Additionally, we acquired exploration rights in several highly prospective areas around the globe, including Kurdistan Iraq, Cameroon and Suriname. Activity in the Gulf of Mexico continues to feel the impact of the new permitting and operating framework established for the industry. We received permits for two sidetracks at Front Runner and a new development well at Thunder Hawk to be drilled in 2012. This year will be important as we evaluate the future potential of our business in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Competitors to Watch: Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR), Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO), Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO), and Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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