A synopsis of today’s Analyst Interview is presented below. The full article can be read at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.
Natural gas prices tend to get more prominent as the weather gets colder. Where do you see these prices heading?
For natural gas, we see continued weakness in the near term, provided the weather remains unhelpful [warmer] as it had been in the recent past. The primary reason for weakness in natural gas prices this year began back in January, when we had fairly mild winter temperatures. This led to lower consumption of the natural gas in storage, and the commodity has never fully recovered from the high levels of storage builds within the U.S.
We had some favorable weather during the summer, when more gas was withdrawn from storage than injected into storage levels, but since that time we have been at record-high storage levels entering this heating season. So there will be some seasonal lift to the commodity as we get to peak heating season, but if we have unfavorable weather this coming January and February, this could put even more pressure on natural gas prices in 2007.
Which are the top Buy-recommended stocks in your coverage at this time?
My favorites remain the large-cap integrateds and oilfield service companies. I like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX). A main reason for my continued preference for large-cap integrated names is that they’re both defensive plays and give good exposure to the energy universe as a whole. They also pay good dividends – around two, two-and-a-half percent – and are fairly consistent with share buybacks. On the whole, total shareholder returns yield around four to four-and-a-half percent for the group.
Read the full interview at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2647.
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