Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Natural gas stocks defy gravity (APC; DVN; CHK; SWN; XTO)

The stocks are up 1-2% today. From Fortune:
Prices should continue to stay low in the short term, but shares of producers are climbing anyway.
Something strange has happened to natural gas stocks: They've gone up.

Despite the fact that gas prices are dirt-cheap and energy demand has fallen off a cliff, shares of gas producers Chesapeake Energy (CHK, Fortune 500), Anadarko Petroleum (APC, Fortune 500), and Southwestern Energy (SWN) have climbed an average of 37% so far this year, compared with the S&P 500's 10% gain.

The upswing in stocks seems illogical given the state of the natural gas market. Prices are the lowest they've been in years, in large part because the supply of gas -- unlike that of oil -- is visibly growing. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that working gas in storage had climbed to 3,152 billion cubic feet as of August 7, a 2% increase over the previous week. The five-year average is 2,635 Bcf....MORE