Range Resources Goes on Sale

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Following the release of its second-quarter financial results, Range Resources (NYSE: RRC  ) shares got smacked down by Mr. Market. Maybe I've got shale goggles, but the company appears to be doing pretty great.

OK, the firm's cash flow dropped 17% as favorable derivatives dropped away. That's no fun for anyone, but this phenomenon is hitting most producers. We saw the same thing happen over at Encana (NYSE: ECA  ) , for example. Range is well-hedged for the back half of the year, though, and this may well represent a trough quarter for pricing.

Stepping back from the quarterly fluctuations, the big picture for Range looks very good. While gas producers like SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD  ) overpay for oil assets, Range has a gas play that actually works at low natural gas prices. That's particularly true in the "wet gas" area of the Marcellus shale, in which natural gas liquids bump up per-well rates of return to at least 50% in a $4 gas environment.

Then, of course, there's the size of the prize. Range is sitting on more than 20 trillion cubic feet equivalent of potential gas resources in the Marcellus. The firm's 3.1 Tcfe in proved reserves are just the tip of the iceberg. The organic growth potential here is hard to match.

Range is basically where Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN  ) was a few years ago, in terms of development of its main resource play. Southwestern has a market cap around double that of Range. It's hard for me to imagine Range not growing into such a valuation over the next five years. Some equity dilution along the way is inevitable, but relative to firms like Petrohawk Energy (NYSE: HK  ) , Range has historically managed to keep share growth in check.

All of this fretting about one quarter's results makes little sense to me. Range's value is locked up in decades of future growth. That growth appears to be available today at an attractive price.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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