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Tickers in this Article: APC
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) is expected to report increased earnings when it releases its third quarter results on Monday, October 29, 2012. The consensus estimate is anticipating a profit of 75 cents a share, an increase from last year's 65 cents per share.

Earnings season is important to investors because it shows how much profit is left in the company's hand after deducting costs from revenue. SEE: How To Decode A Company's Earnings Reports

What to Expect: Analysts are expecting Anadarko to report earnings of 75 cents per share, up 15.4% from a year ago, when the company reported earnings of 65 cents per share.

Over the past month, the consensus estimate has risen from 74 cents, but it is under the estimate of 77 cents from three months ago. For the fiscal year, analysts are expecting earnings of $3.49 per share.

Anadarko is expected to beat last year's reported revenue of $3.38 billion and come in at $3.4 billion for the quarter. For the fiscal year, expected revenue is $13.72 billion.

Company Performance: Revenue fell year-over-year in the second quarter to end a three-quarter growth streak. After rising 6%in the first quarter, 34.4% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 34.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, it fell 12.4% in the most recent quarter.

There are generally two price/earnings ratios calculated: the first, called the trailing Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the previous years actual earnings; the second, called forward Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the next year's estimated earnings. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

Since July 26, 2012, the stock price has dipped 5.9% to $66.94 from $71.16. September 14, 2012 to September 26, 2012 marked one of Anadarko's worst periods, as the share price fell $6.83.

The Competition: Anadarko Petroleum is engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The company's closest competitor in the oil and gas operations industry, ConocoPhillips (COP), will report earnings on October 25, 2012. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.17 per share for ConocoPhillips, down 53.6% from last year's earnings of $2.52 per share. Analysts are more optimistic about Anadarko than about ConocoPhillips. Only six out of 15 analysts rate the latter a buy compared to 21 of 25 for the former.

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