Energy Stat of the Week by J. Marshall Adkins

Energy Stat: Despite Investor Apathy, RJ Conference Crowd Ready for Energy Stocks to Catch up to Oil

March 12, 2018

Last week, Raymond James hosted its 39th annual investor conference with around 1,000 (mostly generalist) investors and 300 companiesin attendance. Despite the move up in crude oil prices since mid-2017, investor interest in energy presentations still seemed very depressed and apathetic despite very positive and upbeat company commentary (see both of our recaps for company specific takeaways). As usual, the highlight of the conference was our annual energy dinner with about 150 attendees comprised of ~60% buy-side investors and ~25% energy executives (as shown in the adjacent graphic). Once again we received real-time anonymous voting data from the audience on numerous controversial industry topics. In this week’s “Stat” we will share both the latest energy insider perspectives gleaned from our conference and our updated views. Specifically, we will spend more time highlighting key questions including: 1) where will oil and gas prices go from here?; 2) what are the greatest headwinds for U.S. E&Ps in 2018?; 3) which oil services are the tightest and how will well costs change?; 4) can E&Ps follow through with their newfound capital discipline?; 5) what are the ramifications of proposed steel tariffs in the U.S.; 6) what is driving the current pronounced oil price backwardation?; and 7) what do industry insiders see as the best energy investment opportunities for 2018?