Cabot Oil & Gas
First mover status is vitally important when it comes to selecting energy stocks — just ask Cabot Oil & Gas (COG). The firm is one of the first and largest players in the Marcellus, where COG has seen the biggest production gains — to the tune of a 61% rise in the third quarter.
However, those gains are set to continue as COG just finished a massive capex spending plan. And like SWN, Cabot’s costs remain one of the lowest in the industry — $1.20 per Mcf. The company plans on spending $1.475 billion on future drilling and well completion, which should help move the needle on cash flows and profits at the natural gas company.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs (GS) estimate that COG should produce pre-tax profits of $515 million in 2013 and jump to $800 million next year. That implies a $48 price target for the energy stock — $14 higher than today.