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3 Natural Gas Stocks to Buy Now

These energy companies have big potential in the years to come

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Southwestern Energy

SouthwesternEnergy185Southwestern Energy (SWN) is well-positioned to benefit from rising gas demand. The natural gas stock is one of the biggest players in some of the most prolific shale fields in the country. Those fields include Pennsylvania’s mammoth Marcellus and roughly 915,000 acres in the Fayetteville shale of Oklahoma and Arkansas.

While the focus on dry gas has hindered many other natural gas stocks, SWN has benefited due to its drilling efficiencies and low cost structure. Southwestern’s finding and development costs have averaged below $1.50 per millions of cubic feet of natural gas equivalent over the last three years. Only a small handful of natural gas companies — including Range Resources (RRC) — have beaten SWN in that regard.

Those low capex costs have helped the firm see huge returns in the earnings department.

The natural gas stock reported a 34.2% jump in profits and a 25.5% increase revenues vs. the year-ago quarter. That follows SWN’s massive 108% profit gain reported in the second quarter. With Southwestern deciding to hike its 2013 capital spending plan to $2.25 billion, analysts estimate that the boost in output should help profits grow even further into 2014.

SWN shares currently trade for a forward P/E of 17.

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