Although recession is nowhere in sight, all positive signs of the global economy seem to keep energy-related sectors on the sideways. American and global oil drillers, that had benefited from uphill changes in oil prices, are now shutting down oil rigs at the fastest pace since 2009.
Obviously the $35-a-barrel crude average makes it tenuous for energy companies to profit.
Willbros Group Inc (WG) is a case in point for a survival business strategy. The company of Houston, Texas, is trading at a healthy +12.10% gain in the past six months, and below its 52-week low of $5.97. Shares jumped $0.06 or +3.53% to $1.76 after the refinery and utilities operator reported fourth-quarter earnings late Wednesday, in line with estimates.
Ophir Energy Plc (OPHR:LN) is expected to break even at zero net income and fiscal year revenue of $203.10 million. The oil and gas explorer that is active in Africa has become a target of takeover and merger interest by undefined parties, as consolidation among independent oil suppliers continues.
BHP Billiton Plc (BBL) is upgraded to “add” from “reduce” at equity ratings agency AlphaValue.