Investors that want to play the development of the Bakken and other formations in the Williston Basin sometimes find themselves unsure of what stocks to pick. One alternative is the Williston Basin Mid-North America Stock Fund, an open-end mutual fund that invests primarily in stocks exposed to this fast growing basin.

IN PICTURES:
7 Ways To Position Yourself For Recovery

Origin
The Williston Basin Mid-North America Stock Fund has been around since 1999, but was formerly known as the Integrity Small Cap Growth Fund. The fund is part of the Integrity Viking Fund family, and is advised by Viking Fund Management, LLC.

The fund changed its name and investment strategy in November 2008, and now invests 80% of its assets in companies with exposure to the Williston Basin in Montana, North Dakota and Canada.

The fund can also invest under the 80% rule in companies with oil and gas exposure to other states in the "Mid-North America" region including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Although this list might make the fund seem like a regular mutual fund that invests in the overall energy sector, the company's positions show a pronounced tilt toward companies that operate in the Williston Basin and target the Bakken and Three Forks formations in that basin.

Positions
The fund's largest position is in CARBO Ceramics (NYSE:CRR), which was 3.6% of the fund's total assets as of September 30. CARBO Ceramics makes ceramic proppants used in hydraulic fracturing of wells in the Bakken and other unconventional resource basins. The company asserts that ceramic proppant leads to greater production and recovery relative to the use of sand or other types of proppant.

On the exploration and production side, the fund's largest position is Brigham Exploration Company (Nasdaq:BEXP), which is 3.12% of total assets as of September 30. Brigham Exploration Company has been drilling long lateral wells in the Bakken for several years and has some of the most productive wells in the play. Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS), which went public earlier in 2010, is the second largest exploration and production company holding, at 3%.

Other stock holdings that the fund holds that are strongly levered to the Bakken and Williston Basin are Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:WLL) (2.9%), Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) (2.5%), Kodiak Oil and Gas (NYSE:KOG) (2.2%), Northern Oil and Gas (NYSE:NOG) (2.3%) and GeoResources (Nasdaq:GEOI) (2.5%). All of these companies have extensive acreage and prospects in the Williston Basin.

Performance
The Williston Basin Mid-North America Stock Fund has a long-term performance record going back more than 10 years, but most of this record is from its original investment strategy as a small cap growth fund.

The fund had a total return of 14.66% in the year ending September 30, and a 7.88% total return in the first three quarters of 2010. This return reflects the sales charge paid by investors.

Bottom Line
The Williston Basin Mid-North America Stock Fund is a way for investors to play the Williston Basin and the rapid development of the Bakken and Three Forks formations by the exploration and production industry. (To learn more about the oil and gas investments, see Investing In Oil And Gas UITs.)

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Fortinet: A Great Play on Cybersecurity

    Discover how a healthy product mix, large-business deal growth and the boom of the cybersecurity industry are all driving Fortinet profits.
  2. Stock Analysis

    2 Catalysts Driving Intrexon to All-Time Highs

    Examine some of the main reasons for Intrexon stock tripling in price between 2014 and 2015, and consider the company's future prospects.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 5 Bear Market Mutual Funds

    Discover five bear market mutual funds that investors can turn to for generating maximum capital appreciation during a bear market.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Mutual Funds to Consider If Interest Rates Rise

    Learn what mutual funds will perform best if interest rates rise. Interest rates can rise due to inflation or to an improving economy.
  5. Stock Analysis

    Net Neutrality: Pros and Cons

    The fight over net neutrality has become an amazing spectacle. But at its core, it's yet another skirmish in cable television's war to remain relevant.
  6. Savings

    Do Natural Gas Prices Always Follow Oil Trends?

    Prices for oil and natural gas are highly correlated. But investors should be aware of different factors affecting the prices of these commodities.
  7. Charts & Patterns

    Understand How Square Works before the IPO

    Square is reported to have filed for an IPO. For interested investors wondering how the company makes money, Investopedia takes a look at its business.
  8. Technical Indicators

    4 Ways to Find a Penny Stock Worth Millions

    Thinking of trading in risky penny stocks? Use this checklist to find bargains, not scams.
  9. Professionals

    Chinese Slowdown Affects Iron Ore Market

    The Chinese economy's ongoing slowdown is having a major impact on iron ore demand.
  10. Investing Basics

    Why do Debt to Equity Ratios Vary From Industry to Industry?

    Obtain a better understanding of the debt/equity ratio, and learn why this fundamental financial metric varies significantly between industries.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Profit Margin

    A category of ratios measuring profitability calculated as net ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis ...
  4. Series 6

    A securities license entitling the holder to register as a limited ...
  5. Debt Ratio

    A financial ratio that measures the extent of a company’s or ...
  6. Price-Earnings Ratio - P/E Ratio

    The Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E ratio is a ratio for valuing ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between the return on total assets and an interest rate?

    Return on total assets (ROTA) represents one of the profitability metrics. It is calculated by taking a company's earnings ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!