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Can Whiting (WLL) Run Higher on Rising Earnings Estimates?

Zacks Equity Research

Whiting Petroleum (WLL) appears an attractive pick given a noticeable improvement in the company's earnings outlook. The stock has been a strong performer lately, and the momentum might continue with analysts still raising their earnings estimates for the company.

The rising trend in estimate revisions, which is a result of growing analyst optimism on the earnings prospects of this oil and gas company, should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. Our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- has this insight at its core.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

Consensus earnings estimates for the next quarter and full year have moved considerably higher for Whiting, as there has been strong agreement among the covering analysts in raising estimates.

The chart below shows the evolution of forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate:

12 Month EPS

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

The earnings estimate of $0.14 per share for the current quarter represents a change of -84.78% from the number reported a year ago.

Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Whiting has increased 57.14% because three estimates have moved higher while three have gone lower.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $1.42 per share for the full year, which represents a change of -34.86% from the prior-year number.

In terms of estimate revisions, the trend for the current year also appears quite encouraging for Whiting. Over the past month, eight estimates have moved higher compared to one negative revision, helping the consensus estimate increase 41.84%.

Favorable Zacks Rank

The promising estimate revisions have helped Whiting earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

While strong estimate revisions for Whiting have attracted decent investments and pushed the stock 7.6% higher over the past four weeks, further upside may still be left in the stock. So, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.


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