Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN)
Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) is a $3.6 billion independent oil and gas company located in Spring, Texas and had 2016 sales of $2.44 billion. SWN shares are a constituent of the S&P 500 Index and included in most energy-related ETF shares. Normally, such a company would enjoy coverage that is somewhat uniform with a general consensus on future earnings prospects. The rule of thumb is that the larger the company is, the more analysts that cover it. And analysts typically use the same, or very similar, metrics to determine the rating they will assign the company’s shares. That is why one review of the analysts ratings on AWN might make one wonder if the covering analysts are all looking at the same financial information or possibly have some inside knowledge that is unavailable to some, but not others.
A review of Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) up/downgrades over the last ten months:
- June 7, 2016, KLR Group DOWNGRADE to Hold – AWN $15.21
- July 5, 2016, Raymond James UPGRADE to Hold – AWN $11.66
- July 22, 2016, JP Morgan UPGRADE to Hold – AWN $13.85
- July 25, 2016, National Securities UPGRADE to Buy – AWN $14.47
- October 18, 2016, KLR Group UPGRADE to Buy – AWN $12.64
- November 10, 2016, KLR Group UPGRADE to Strong Buy – AWN $10.01
- December 2, 2016, Tudor Pickering DOWNGRADE to Hold – AWN $11.67
- January 4, 2017, BofA/Merrill Lynch DOWNGRADE to Sell – AWN $10.28
- January 23, 2017, Barclays UPGRADE to Hold – AWN $9.19
- February 28, 2017, Bernstein DOWNGRADE to Hold – AWN $7.51
- March 3, 2017, Jeffries UPGRADE to Hold – AWN $7.71
- March 15, 2017, Citigroup UPGRADE to Buy – AWN $7.81
Considering that Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) is a fairly substantial player in a global commodity sector, one has to wonder why there is so much diversion of opinion amongst major investment firms. Some firms seem to be jumping on Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) when the price reaches its highs while others seem to be hating AWN shares when it is on its lows. To put this in perspective it is instructive to remember that some of these firms had a Buy rating on Enron the day after it declared bankruptcy. While there is absolutely no indication that Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) will suffer a similar fate, it makes one wonder if energy analysts would beat the proverbial coin-flip when issuing rating Upgrades or Downgrades.
I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.
About the author: Marc has a degree in economics and a MSc. in Finance. Over his 20-year career, Marc has worked for global investment firms in Europe and the United States as an analyst, fund manager, and consultant.