UPDATE: Stifel Nicolaus Upgrades Noble Energy to Buy on Active 2H High Impact Exploration Portfolio
In a report published Wednesday, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Amir Arif upgraded the rating on Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) from Hold to Buy, and named a $140.00 price target.
In the report, Arif noted, “The strong production growth alone, and ongoing improvements in Niobrara horizontals, should allow 2013 production to come in at the higher end of guidance and we remain meaningfully above consensus for our 2014 outlook. This visible growth results in NBL trading at 4.6x F12M EBITDA by YE13, below the group at 5.3x. Furthermore, the high impact exploration portfolio being tested in 2H, which, including the Nevada resource play, Troubadour in the GOM, Nicaragua, the Karish gas and deep Leviathan oil tests in the Mediterranean, provide exposure to greater than $25/share of resource testing. In addition, the startup of Alen in 3Q and the confirmation of an Israel gas export framework/regulation should help firm up the value of these two key assets. Bottom line, with an expectation of 2013 production coming in at the high end of guidance, an attractive valuation based on this visible production growth alone, and an active 2H exploration portfolio testing an additional $25/sh of prospects, we are upgrading the name to a Buy.”
Noble Energy closed on Tuesday at $117.61.
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