Friday, February 12, 2016

Oil & Gas Companies With the Worst Debt Coverage

From Barron's Stocks to Watch:

Oil Stocks: Yes, There Will Be More Dividend Cuts, Equity Raises
Barclays analyst Thomas Driscoll and team see more dividend cuts and equity raises coming for oil & gas stocks like Apache (APA), Devon Energy (DVN), Encana (ECA), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), and Marathon Oil (MRO). They explain why:
Leverage concerns will lead E&P companies to take strong steps to strengthen balance sheets. As oil price weakness has lingered, management teams have become more willing to take stronger steps to address leverage. We view 4x debt to pre-interest cash flow as a warning sign that companies may be overlevered. At a $30-40/bbl WTI oil price, debt to estimated pre-interest cash is over 4x for 16-19 of the companies we cover. At $50 oil, roughly half of our coverage universe remains “overlevered” using our 4x coverage test…

We have seen several dividend cuts in the recent past, including Anadarko Petroleum cutting its dividend by 81%…and we expect more companies to follow suit. Chesapeake Energy (CHK), ConocoPhillips (COP), Encana, Marathon Oil and Noble Energy (NBL) are among energy companies that have also cut dividends in the past 12 months, but dividend requirements – even after several cuts – will consume ~26% of 2016 estimated cash flow at current dividend rates (15% excluding Occidental Petroleum (OXY)) for the large cap E&Ps we cover. We believe most of the companies with a dividend yield of more than 1.5% should consider cutting the dividend and find the following companies more likely than not to reduce dividends:...MORE