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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cenovus, Matador, Valero, Phillips 66 and Exxon Mobil

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 13, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Cenovus Energy Inc. CVE, Matador Resources Co. MTDR, Valero Energy Corp. VLO, Phillips 66 PSX and Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Refiners to Gain from Oil Crash, Coronavirus Lockdown Eases

Oil prices have witnessed a massive tumble this week, steepest since the 1991 Gulf War, which dealt a huge blow to the already scuffled upstream industry. The WTI Crude price index is currently trading around the $31 per barrel mark compared with $51.42 on Feb 13. A similar trend has been witnessed for Brent Crude, which tumbled nearly 65% in the past month to $33.45 per barrel. While this weak price environment is deadly for the upstream energy industry, we expect some downstream companies to thrive in this situation.

The oil price crash came on the heels of the OPEC+ meeting, which saw a Saudi Arabia-Russia disagreement over deeper production cuts to boost oil market fundamentals. As Saudi Arabia failed to secure Russia’s support for additional cuts, it threatened to flood the oil market by boosting production. That was enough to trigger the oil price plunge, which was already in a panic mode due to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

Early Responses

Reacting to the market situation, Cenovus Energy Inc. decided to cut its 2020 capital spending and production guidance by 32% and 5%, respectively. In a similar move, Matador Resources Co., an exploration and production company, decided to operate half of its current drilling rigs. While these companies were the first to respond to the oil price crash, more upstream companies are expected to follow suit in the coming days.

Companies to Gain

Low crude price is always good for refining and marketing companies as it reduces production costs and expenses. Valero Energy Corp. and Phillips 66 are two of the companies that can take advantage of the low crude price. Moreover, there are some integrated energy mammoths like Exxon Mobil Corp. with ample international exposure. Their refining and marketing operations are expected to gain from weak oil prices. All of these four companies have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Notably, the international refining market suffered in the last two months as fuel demand growth declined following the coronavirus outbreak. However, things are improving for the second biggest economy in the world, which was also the epicenter of the outbreak.

China's Fuel Market Showing Improvement

China’s new daily cases of infections have been declining in the past two weeks. The country is now easing lockdowns and quarantine zones in some areas, which have put industrial activities on a recovery mode. While the economy is slowly recovering, oil imports are reportedly increasing and fuel demand is expected to go up. This will act as a positive catalyst for the overall fuel market and refining companies will likely gain.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Phillips 66 (PSX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Matador Resources Company (MTDR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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