Woodside Energy (NYSE:WDS) sports strong free cash flow, a high yield, and a favorable chart.
Like many Energy sector names, its P/E is low while oil and gas prices, while off the highs, are conducive for producers. What’s more ex-USA stocks appear to be turning for the better. BofA even deemed it a new era of foreign equities outpacing USA names. Let’s dig deeper into why WDS stock is a buy.
A Whole New World?
According to Bank of America Global Research, Woodside Energy Group is Australia’s largest oil & gas company with annual production of c.200 mmboe and is also a top 10 global E&P and supplier of LNG. Woodside’s asset portfolio mainly comprises large, low-cost, long-life LNG assets in Australia and high-margin oil production in the US Gulf of Mexico.
The $48 billion market cap Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry company within the Energy sector trades at a low 7.6 trailing 12-month GAAP price-to-earnings ratio and pays a high 8.6% dividend yield, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Woodside has a strong balance sheet with modest debt compared to its equity, and recent profitability has bolstered its free cash flow yield. Higher oil and LNG prices help the firm along with continuing to keep costs in check. Downside risks stem from energy price volatility and a continued fall in global LNG prices along with any production outages and delays. Woodside has tailwinds from a record Q4 production figure of 51.6 MMboe, though it did miss on revenues in its Q4 report on January 25.
On valuation, analysts at BofA see earnings having surged nearly 150% in 2022, but then falling in each of the next two FYs. If we assume $3 of normalized profits and a modest 12 P/E multiple, then shares have a fair value in the mid-$30s. What’s more, the company has a variable dividend payout, but the yield is forecast to be strong even with the downturn in EPS upcoming.
What I also like here is Woodside’s low EV/EBITDA ratio, and the high FCF yield should support strong payouts. Overall, it is a buy on valuation to me and the yield is solid so long as energy prices hang around at least $70, and hopefully LNG prices stabilize and inch up again.
Woodside Energy: Earnings, Valuation, Dividend Yield Forecasts
Looking ahead, corporate event data provided by Wall Street Horizon show a confirmed H2 2022 earnings date of Sunday, February 26 with a conference call that evening. You can listen live here. The reporting date is later than was first estimated, so there could be some negative news to be reported in the upcoming release. A shareholder meeting could also cause volatility later on April 27.
Corporate Event Risk Calendar
The Technical Take
With a good valuation in my eye, the chart also appears favorable for a potential breakout. Notice in the graph below that shares have long-term resistance near $28, but should that break, then stock could see upside to near $40 based on the chart pattern.
Still, the technicals say to wait for the breakout before getting long. And there is a high amount of volume by price in the $20 to $24 range that should be support on any pullbacks, so the risk/reward is good here. The bears can point to some recent negative divergence in RSI momentum at its latest spike high – something to watch, but not a major concern to me.
WDS: Bullish Ascending Triangle Forming, Watch $28
The Bottom Line
I am a buy on WDS. The valuation looks attractive given free cash flow and its yield. The chart also has potential with a breakout more likely than a major fall from here.