Two major ASX-listed energy stocks – oil and gas producers Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) – released their quarterly results last week, with revenues increasing on the back of surging commodity prices.
However, there are also smaller energy companies that have been performing well recently.
Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Limited (ASX: SHE)
This small-cap was one of the biggest movers on the local market on Friday, up 6.25% to $0.17 following the release of the company’s quarterly activities report. Sino develops Chinese unconventional gas assets through partnership sharing contracts with local partners like PetroChina and China CBM. In the March 2018 quarter, the company reached a record production volume of 25 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. Demand for gas in China increased 18% over the first two months of 2018, resulting in higher operating margins for Sino, which reported an 80% increase in quarterly revenue over the previous corresponding period. The stock is up 77% since this time last year.
Senex Energy Ltd (ASX: SXY)
Shares in this small-cap oil and gas exploration and production company were up 1.7% to $0.42 Friday, following the announcement that Senex appointed former Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) CFO Gary Mallett as its new chief financial officer. Senex’s share price grew 60% in the last 8 months.
The stock received its first boost in September when the company was awarded a 58 square kilometre acreage in the Surat Basin by the Queensland government for domestic gas supply. The company’s revenue in the first half of FY2018 was 30% higher than in the previous corresponding period, with declining operating costs. Senex expects to ramp up production in Queensland in the second half of the year, and will be one to watch when it releases its quarterly update on April 26.
Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC)
Whitehaven released a positive March 2018 quarter update this week, posting an increase of production and sales over the previous corresponding period. Demand for both thermal and metallurgical coal was strong and pushed coal prices up. Prices are likely to remain high as long as coal suppliers continue to prefer buying existing production capacity rather than developing new mines. Whitehaven itself acquired a 75% stake in Winchester South project from Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) for US$200 million in March. The stock is trading flat at $4.52 today, but its price increased 60% over the past 12 months.
If I had to pick one of these three stocks, I’d go for the less speculative: Whitehaven Coal. While growth prospects for Sino and Senex depend on the success of undeveloped projects, Whitehaven is a well-established player with a favourable outlook ahead. I don’t expect stellar growth from Whitehaven, but its P/E ratio of just 9 is quite attractive.
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Motley Fool contributor Tommaso Autorino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.