Article: Zack's Rates COP Above All Other Major Oil Companies
Looking for an energy play? ConocoPhillips (COP) is the only Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) among the large E&P companies. It is expected to grow earnings by the double digits this year.
ConocoPhillips is the largest independent exploration and production company in the world. It has operations in 27 countries, including in the oil sands and the Eagle Ford shale region, and has a market cap of $106 billion.
On May 1, Conoco reported first quarter earnings which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15.3%. Earnings were $1.81 compared to the consensus of $1.57.
Conoco hasn't missed on the estimate since 2012.
Of course, with E&P companies the key is production. Investors want to see production growth.
After no production growth in 2012, Conoco has been turning it around. In 2012 it grew production by 2%. It has a stated goal for 2014 production between 3% and 5%.
It fell a little short of that goal in the first quarter as production rose just 2.8% but it is seeing bright spots. The Eagle Ford and Bakken regions in North American saw production rise 41% compared to the first quarter of last year.
A major project also started up in Malaysia in the quarter with preparations underway for four additional start-ups in Canada, Malaysia and the United Kingdom during the remainder of 2014.