Shares in oil and gas exploration and development company Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) were given a boost today with the release of an upbeat update.
Importantly, it states that Cairn remains fully funded from existing financial resources to deliver its exploration and appraisal programme. Furthermore, its on track to take its North Sea developments through to free cash flow generation next year and with Cairn having a net cash position of $603m, it appears to be relatively financially sound.
With Cairn reporting positive flow tests on the SNE-2 appraisal well in Senegal thathighlighted its commercial deliverability, it has now commenced drilling operations on the next appraisal well, SNE-3. Looking ahead, Cairn expects its development expenditure to be predominantly focused on its key assets in Senegal, with $492m being earmarked for spending across its asset base in 2016 and 2017.
Meanwhile, Cairn states in todays update that it has a high level of confidence in the outcome of its tax dispute with the Indian government. Clearly, theres no guarantee of a positive result in this regard and with the Indian government demanding $1.6bn plus interest and penalties, it remains a risk to Cairns future outlook.
With Cairn trading on a price-to-book-value (P/B) ratio of just 0.45 and having a relatively sound balance sheet, it does have appeal for long-term investors. However, with further losses due in the next two years and a number of other resources stocks being cheap and profitable, there appear to be better options available elsewhere.
Its a similar story for silver miner Hochschild (LSE: HOC). Its due to post its third year in a row of losses when it reports on its 2015 financial performance, with the slump in the price of silver being a key reason behind this. Clearly, resources companies such as Hochschild are highly dependent on the price of their respective commodities, but a number of other silver mining companies have remained profitable in recent years.
Certainly, Hochschild is expected to deliver much-improved performance in 2016, with the company due to record earnings per share (EPS) of 1.3p for the full year. However, with its shares trading on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 31, this improved performance already appears to be reflected in Hochschilds valuation.
Also struggling to cope with lower commodity prices is Glencore (LSE: GLEN). In response to declining investor sentiment and a worsening operating environment, it conducted a fundraising towards the end of 2015 thatreduced its degree of balance sheet leverage. Furthermore, Glencore implemented strategy changes in order to become more efficient and more financially stable after declining investor sentiment led to a collapse in its share price of 70% in 2015.
Undoubtedly, Glencore remains a highly volatile and relatively high-risk stock. However, with its trading division performing relatively well and its new strategy having the potential to improve investor sentiment, it may be of interest to less risk-averse investors. This is backed up by Glencores forecast earnings growth rate for 2016, which stands at 19% and, while such expectations can be downgraded, a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 0.8 indicates that Glencores shares offer a relatively wide margin of safety.
Of course, finding stocks that are worth adding to your portfolio is a tough task, which is why the analysts at The Motley Fool have written a free and without obligation guide called 10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market.
It’s a simple and straightforward guide that could make a real difference to your portfolio returns. As such, 2016 could prove to be an even better year than you had thought possible.
Click here to get your copy of the guide – it’s completely free and comes without any obligation.