(By Mani) The last earnings season (third quarter) of calendar 2012 saw a number of catalysts, but some big ones still remain before year-end 2012.
We have compiled a list of upcoming catalysts for various oil stocks.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s (NYSE: APC) Tronox case final arguments are expected to take place on Dec. 10. Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: GDP) should have its first operated Tuscaloosa Marine Shale well result. Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: GPOR) should have a handful of new Utica well results.
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Plains Exploration & Production Co.'s (NYSE: PXP) operator should spud the Phobos prospect by the end of the year, and Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN) should release its 2013 CapEx budget in mid-December.
Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) has an analyst day on Dec. 6, and is expected to give information on its Leviathan partner, and should have exploration results in the Gulf of Mexico and Falklands.
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Meanwhile, Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (NYSE: MHR) could potentially monetize its Eagle Ford assets while McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR) expects to flow test Davy Jones in November.
With oil's march down from nearly $100 in mid-September to around $85 currently, E&Ps have underperformed the S&P 500 by around 7 percent.
"Under our NAV valuations, our average large-cap stock is discounting $81 oil and $4.55 gas, the mid-caps are discounting $78 oil and $4.45 gas, and the small caps are discounting $78 oil and $4.50 gas," RBC Capital Markets analyst Leo Mariani said in a note to clients.
Given this, any rebound in oil could generate substantial outperformance and stocks that have the highest leverage to oil could gain in the coming months.
The bull case stocks are Anadarko Petroleum, Approach Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ: AREX), Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR). Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE: DNR), EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG), Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS), Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD), Plains Exploration and Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL).
"Besides taking shelter in gassy names, we think oil stocks with solid balance sheets will perform best given an oil bear case," Mariani said.
These stocks include Apache Corp. ( NYSE: APA
), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP
), Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN
), Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO
), Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR
) and Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY