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Citi Pounds The Table On Integrated Oil Services Stocks

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Citi Pounds The Table On Integrated Oil Services Stocks

Most oil stocks have taken a pounding as WTI crude oil prices slipped from above $50/bbl in late June to under $40/bbl this week. However, Citigroup analyst Scott Gruber reiterated the firm’s bullish thesis on large cap oil services stocks.

According to Gruber, Citi’s original call three months ago that integrated services stocks would outperform SMID names may have been too early, but it’s not wrong.

“This reflects the ability of Big Service to grow earnings through 4q without reliance on activity growth given internal cost cutting,” Gruber explains.

Related Link: Crude Oil Dips Below $40 As OPEC And U.S. Producers Get Back In The Game

He believes there is a real risk that the recent drop in crude prices could shut down rig count recovery throughout the second half of the year, a trend that would be bad news for SMID stocks.

The businesses of the large integrated services companies are in much better shape than those of their SMID peers. Gruber notes that Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE: SLB) and Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE: BHI) will have robust share buybacks through the end of the year. In addition, the integrated services companies will see improving short-term and long-term FCF, and the stocks trade at much more appealing valuations than SMID names.

Gruber names Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) as Citi’s top pick among integrates services stocks. After Halliburton, he ranks Baker Hughes second choice, Schlumberger third and Weatherford International Plc (NYSE: WFT) fourth. The firm has Buy ratings on all four stocks.

Disclosure: the author is long HAL, SLB and BHI.

Latest Ratings for HAL

DateFirmActionFromTo
Oct 2019MaintainsOverweight
Sep 2019DowngradesOverweightEqual-Weight
Sep 2019MaintainsOutperform

View More Analyst Ratings for HAL
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