Carnarvon Petroleum Limited (ASX:CVN), a AUDA$102.80M small-cap, operates in the oil and gas industry which has seen an extended oil price slump since 2014. However, energy-sector analysts are forecasting for the entire industry, negative growth in the upcoming year , and a low 7.36% growth over the next couple of years. This rate is below the growth rate of the Australian stock market as a whole. Should your portfolio be overweight in the oil and gas sector at the moment? Today, I will analyse the industry outlook, as well as evaluate whether CVN is lagging or leading its competitors in the industry. View our latest analysis for Carnarvon Petroleum
What’s the catalyst for CVN’s sector growth?
Much of the oil and gas industry has survived an especially tough few years with weak demand and low prices. Global oil and gas companies cut capital expenditures by about 40% during 2014 and 2016, and as part of this cost cutting initiative, some 400,000 workers were let go, with major projects cancelled or deferred. However, recently the sector saw a reversal in the downturn, and in the previous year, the industry saw growth of over 50%, beating the Australian market growth of 5.37%. CVN lags the pack with its sustained negative earnings over the past couple of years. The company’s outlook seems uncertain, with a lack of analyst coverage, which doesn’t boost our confidence in the stock. This lack of growth and transparency means CVN may be trading cheaper than its peers.
Is CVN and the sector relatively cheap?
The energy sector’s PE is currently hovering around 11x, below the broader Australian stock market PE of 17x. This illustrates a somewhat under-priced sector compared to the rest of the market. Though, the industry returned a similar 12.16% on equities compared to the market’s 11.92%, potentially illustrative of a turnaround. Since CVN’s earnings doesn’t seem to reflect its true value, its PE ratio isn’t very useful. A loose alternative to gauge CVN’s value is to assume the stock should be relatively in-line with its industry.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? CVN has been an oil and gas industry laggard in the past year. If your initial investment thesis is around the growth prospects of CVN, there are other oil and gas companies that have delivered higher growth, and perhaps trading at a discount to the industry average. Consider how CVN fits into your wider portfolio and the opportunity cost of holding onto the stock.
Are you a potential investor? If CVN has been on your watchlist for a while, now may be a good time to dig deeper into the stock. Although its growth has delivered lower growth relative to its oil and gas peers in the near term, the market may be pessimistic on the stock, leading to a potential undervaluation. Before you make a decision on the stock, I suggest you look at CVN’s future cash flows in order to assess whether the stock is trading at a reasonable price.
For a deeper dive into Carnarvon Petroleum’s stock, take a look at the company’s latest free analysis report to find out more on its financial health and other fundamentals. Interested in other energy stocks instead? Use our free playform to see my list of over 300 other oil and gas companies trading on the market.
To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.