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Can Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) Q4 Earnings Surprise?

Nilanjan Choudhury

Independent oil and gas explorer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. CNQ is set to release its fourth-quarter 2016 results before the opening bell on Thursday, Mar 2.

In the preceding three-month period, the Calgary, Alberta-based upstream player reported loss of 22 cents, which compared unfavorably with the year-earlier profit of 14 cents. Lower production and reduced oil and gas price realizations led to the underperformance.

As far as the earnings surprise history is concerned, the company has a mixed record: it's missed estimates in 2 of the last four quarters.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited Price and EPS Surprise

Canadian Natural Resources Limited Price and EPS Surprise | Canadian Natural Resources Limited Quote

Factors to Consider This Quarter

Like any other energy player − primarily involved in exploration, development and production of crude oil − the fate of Canadian Natural Resources’ business is directly correlated with crude prices. Continued weakness in commodity prices has significantly affected the company’s revenues, earnings and cash flows.

However, efficiencies on the production front might be able to mitigate some of the damage. In particular, the company boasts of a strong and diverse production base with long-life and low decline rate assets.

Moreover, Canadian Natural Resources has been able to reduce unit costs that will provide some buffer amid the tumbling commodity prices.

Other Stocks to Report Near-Term

Apart from Canadian Natural Resources, here are some other firms from the energy space that are expected to come out with fourth quarter earnings in the next few days:

Eclipse Resources Corp. ECR, having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), is expected to release earnings results on Feb 28. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cheniere Energy Inc. LNG, with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), is likely to release earnings on Feb 28.

Global Partners L.P. GLP, with a Zacks Rank #2, is likely to release earnings on Mar 6.

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