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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Chesapeake Energy, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – October 23, 2013 – 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 the Royal Dutch Shell plc ( RDS.A- Free Report), Chevron Corp. ( CVX- Free Report), Chesapeake Energy Corp. ( CHK- Free Report), Schlumberger Ltd. ( SLB- Free Report) and Baker Hughes Inc. ( BHI- Free Report).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Oil & Gas Stock Roundup

Energy stocks failed to mirror the broader equity markets’ gains last week amid concerns that the 16-day U.S. government shutdown has eroded demand in the world’s biggest oil consumer.

While the broad-based S&P 500 index celebrated the last-minute compromise to save the country from a possible debt default by hitting a new recode high of 1,745.31, oil traders were rather circumspect, as they pondered over the effect of the shutdown in terms of lost oil and gas production.
Sentiments were further dampened by a bearish American Petroleum Institute ( API) report – a proxy for the Energy Information Administration ( EIA) release, which did not come out last week due to the Washington drama – that showed a big increase in inventories.
Even positive GDP growth data out of China could not turn the tide.

In fact, by close of trade on Friday, West Texas Intermediate ( WTI) oil was firmly in the red and settled at $100.81 per barrel, losing 1.2% for the week.

The Sub-Sectors:

Integrated: Almost all major integrated players traded in the black, with the top gainer being Anglo-Dutch supermajor Royal Dutch Shell plc ( RDS.A- Free Report), which jumped 3.7% over the week despite a firm reason to justify the increase.

On the other hand, U.S. energy behemoth Chevron Corp. ( CVX- Free Report) was in the news last week, as the company fights a case in Manhattan to dispute a $19 billion environmental verdict it faces in Ecuador over pollution.

E&P: While all crude-focused stocks stand to benefit from $100+ commodity prices, companies in the exploration and production (E&P) sector are the best placed, as they are able to extract more value for their products. Last week, the SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index traded up 4.5%.

Top gainers include Chesapeake Energy Corp. ( CHK- Free Report), whose shares were up 6.7%. The Doug Lawler-led natural gas producer announced a one-time charge of $70 million associated with the laying off of about 900 employees. Though this will affect Chesapeake’s second half results, investors saw this as an effort by the management to cut costs and improve profitability.

Oilfield Services: The oil services group – represented by the Philadelphia Oil Services Sector Index – was up 3.4% through the week. Friday saw a kickoff in quarterly reporting from the segment, with biggies Schlumberger Ltd. ( SLB- Free Report) and Baker Hughes Inc. ( BHI- Free Report) beating Zacks Consensus Estimates, in the process chalking up relatively solid numbers.

In particular, Houston TX-based Baker Hughes gained 7.3% on Oct 18 after the company posted strong results, thanks to impressive operating performances from its Middle East and Asia Pacific business units.   

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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