U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 50 mins

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Transocean, Parker Drilling, Noble, Rowan and BP

Zacks Equity Research
Ross Stores (ROST) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – Jan 15, 2018 – 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 Transocean Limited RIG, Parker Drilling Company PKD, Noble Corporation NE, Rowan Companies plc RDC and BP plc BP.

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

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Can Trump's 5-Year Drilling Plan Revolutionize Energy Sector?

In a bid to revolutionize the energy sector, President Trump recently unveiled his ambitious five-year drilling plan. Per the plan, Trump has proposed to initiate drilling activities in the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic Ocean, which had been off limits for decades. The 2019-2024 plan will replace the current five-year program (scheduled to run through 2022) introduced by Obama last year. The latest plan will nullify Obama’s indefinite ban on drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean. Trump believes that Obama’s five-year offshore drilling plan, which bans new leases in the Arctic and the Atlantic, has marred the nation’s revenue-generating opportunities.

The proposed plan will make over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf (OCS) open for leasing, bringing in a radical change in the offshore leasing policy. It will open 25 of the 26 continental shelves for drilling. The plan is likely to schedule 47 lease sales starting from 2019 up to 2024, marking the largest number of lease sales ever proposed for the OCS. It includes 19 sales off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico and nine in the Atlantic region.

If the latest plan comes into effect, it is likely to be a boon for various offshore drilling companies including Transocean Limited, Parker Drilling Company, Noble Corporation and Rowan Companies plc, among others. All the above-mentioned companies carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Pros and Cons of the Plan

Though the plan is likely to find favor among industry advocates, environmental groups and democrats have already started expressing their concerns about the catastrophic effects it will have on indigenous communities.

With the increasing demand for oil and gas, the Arctic, the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean are of crucial importance. Estimated to hold vast untapped oil and gas reserves, increased drilling and exploration activities in these regions will bolster the economy of United States by creating jobs and supplying cheap oil. This will help the nation become self-reliant for energy sources. It will also generate substantial revenues needed for coastal conservation.

However, the environmentalists are of the opinion that the drilling program will pose a serious threat to indigenous marine life, coastal communities as well as public health. Questions are also being raised on the viability of the project as it will lead to huge capital investment in new offshore projects when there are opportunities to tap on the abundant resources on the U.S. mainland. Many of the offshore drilling regions has been off-limits for decades and will now require huge capital investments for infrastructural upgradation. Thus, they claim that the gains have been estimated without taking market conditions as well as excessive production and operating costs into account.

Fruitless Endeavors

Trump is not the first one to propose the opening of America’s waters for drilling. Similar attempts have been made earlier by George W. Bush, John McCain and Barack Obama as well. In 2008, Bush lifted a presidential moratorium to open Florida’s coast for drilling. However, the proposal got shelved amid opposition from the state governor and green campaigners. In 2010, Obama proposed the opening of new coastal areas to oil production in a bid to reduce oil imports. However, the plan had to be abandoned just weeks after its release owing to BP plc’s deepwater horizon oil spill which is touted as one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history.

Will the Plan See the Light of Day?

The proposal has already drawn much opposition from the governors of California, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Virginia and other prominent politicians who believe that offshore drilling will have implication on the environment as well as the economy.

Interestingly, following Florida’s governor — Rick Scott’s — strong opposition, Trump has exempted Florida from the massive drilling expansion plans. Scott believes that the drilling expansion can severely damage the environment and wreck an otherwise booming tourist destination.

Trump’s stance has drawn severe censure from other states that have not been granted a similar privilege. Many local governors are leaving no stone unturned to get their states off Trump’s list as they view the drilling expansion hazardous to the natural resources and local economies.

Whether the plan actually comes into existence, however, remains a wait-and-watch story, given the negotiations and public consultations that have stemmed from the same. However, thanks to this move, the amount of acreage open for offshore drilling will significantly increase.

Zacks Editor-in-Chief Goes "All In" on This Stock

Full disclosure, Kevin Matras now has more of his own money in one particular stock than in any other. He believes in its short-term profit potential and also in its prospects to more than double by 2019. Today he reveals and explains his surprising move in a new Special Report.

Download it free >>

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

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year.See these high-potential stocks free >>.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339



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.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
BP p.l.c. (BP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Noble Corporation (NE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Rowan Companies PLC (RDC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Transocean Ltd. (RIG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Parker Drilling Company (PKD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research