Monday, 08 May 2023 13:19

Energy Stocks Lower Despite Strong Earnings Season

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In an article for the Financial Times, Derek Brower discussed recent weakness in energy stocks due to increasing worries of a recession despite a recent string of strong earnings reports. This follows a two year rally which was fueled by production cuts in 2020, a better than expected economy, and the war in Ukraine. 

Last year, the energy sector was up more than 50%, while the S&P 500 finished down double-digits. This year in contrast, the S&P 500 has an 8% gain, while the energy sector is down 5%.

According to Wall Street analysts, investors are looking past companies’ strong results due to expectations that recent trouble in the banking sector will translate into reduced economic activity and demand for crude oil. 

Another indication is that dividend yields in energy stocks are nearly double those found in financial stocks and quadruple those of tech stocks. Inflation is proving to be a significant headwind as production costs have increased, eroding margins with lower oil prices. Another is that productivity in the Permian Basin has declined by 30% over the last 2 years, another reason that margin contraction is likely.

Finsum: Following major outperformance in 2022, energy stocks have underperformed so far this year due to increasing recession fears.


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