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Pioneer Natural (PXD) to Report Q4 Earnings: A Beat in Store?

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Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read
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Pioneer Natural Resources Company PXD is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2020 results on Feb 17, after the closing bell.

In the last reported quarter, the company reported earnings of 17 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents due to reduced crude oil production volumes and realized prices. This was partially offset by higher natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) production, and their respective realized prices.

Pioneer Natural beat earnings estimates thrice and missed once in the last four quarters, with the average surprise being 6.5%, as shown in the chart below.

Pioneer Natural Resources Company Price and EPS Surprise

Pioneer Natural Resources Company Price and EPS Surprise
Pioneer Natural Resources Company Price and EPS Surprise

Pioneer Natural Resources Company price-eps-surprise | Pioneer Natural Resources Company Quote

Let’s see how things have shaped up prior to the announcement.

Trend in Estimate Revision

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings of 64 cents per share has seen six upward movements and two downward revisions in the past 30 days. The figure suggests a year-over-year decline of 73%.

Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $1.8 billion for the quarter, indicating a decline of 32.3% from the year-ago reported figure.

What the Quantitative Model Suggests

Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for Pioneer Natural this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat.

Earnings ESP: Pioneer Natural has an Earnings ESP of +3.65%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate for the quarter is currently pegged at 67 cents versus the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 64 cents per share. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they are reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Factors Driving Better-Than-Expected Earnings

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has improved roughly 25% through the December quarter of 2020. The approval of two coronavirus vaccines in the last month of the fourth quarter by U.S. health regulators boosted investor confidence in fuel demand recovery, lifting crude price.

The improved pricing scenario is likely to have backed the upstream energy company, with a strong presence in the Permian – the most prolific basin in the United States – to increase crude production volumes. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for average crude oil production volumes is pegged at 204 thousand barrels per day (MBbls/d), indicating an increase from the prior-quarter level of 201 MBbls/d. Also, the consensus estimate for oil equivalent production is pegged at 361 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoE/D), suggesting an improvement from the prior-quarter level of 355 MBoE/D.

Other Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some other companies from the Energy space that you may also want to consider, as our model shows that these too have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat in the upcoming quarterly reports:

Diamondback Energy, Inc. FANG has an Earnings ESP of +8.58% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is scheduled to release quarterly earnings on Feb 22. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Devon Energy Corporation DVN has an Earnings ESP of +11.06% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release quarterly earnings on Feb 16.

Continental Resources, Inc. CLR has an Earnings ESP of +17.97% and a Zacks Rank of 3. It is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb 16.

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