Energy Stock Gets Game of Thrones Shoutout From Analyst

Noble Energy has already had a huge year on the charts and earnings are this week

by Josh Selway

Published on Apr 29, 2019 at 1:11 PM

Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) is the Jon Snow of energy stocks apparently. J.P. Morgan Securities released a note titled "E&P Game of Thrones" that said NBL could be the new "King of the North," while upgrading its opinion on the stock to "overweight" from "neutral." The analyst note also put the price target on the shares at $32, up from $28, expecting better performance from the company's onshore assets and indirect benefits from the takeover of rival and former King of the North Anadarko Petroleum (APC), as APC shareholders could look to reinvest in the space. 

Houston-based Noble Energy has seen its stock pop 0.6% thanks to the news to trade at $27.25. The shares have been holding just above their 200-day moving average in recent weeks, currently sporting a year-to-date lead of roughly 46.4%.

noble energy stock

Most analysts are already bullish on the equity, with 14 sporting "buy" or "strong buy" recommendations, compared to six "holds" or worse. Plus, the average 12-month price target stands up near J.P. Morgan Securities' at $33.48. On the other hand, short-term speculators are surprisingly put-heavy.

Specifically, the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) comes in at 1.25, showing put open interest outweighs call open interest among contracts expiring within three months. What's more, this reading sits in the 78th annual percentile, showing such a setup is quite rare in NBL's options pits.

Speculators have positioned themselves this way with only a few days before earnings. Noble Energy is scheduled to report quarterly results the morning of Friday, May 3. Looking back, the stock has moved higher the day after reports in the past two quarters, and this time around the options market is pricing in a 7.1% swing.


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