Range Resources said that it added 3.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent (CFE) of new natural gas reserves last year, boosting its total to 18.1 trillion CFE. That's enough natural gas to power more than 18 million homes for the next 15 years. Driving the 18% year-over-year increase was resource extensions, discoveries, and additions, mainly in the Marcellus Shale. Furthermore, the company noted that its drill-bit finding costs were a mere $0.22 per million CFE last year.
The report pleased analysts at Scotia Howard Weil, who said Range delivered another strong year of reserve growth. Scotia Howard also noted the company's "impressive" drill-bit finding costs, which were well below last year's level and Range's three-year average of $0.45 per million CFE. The report led Scotia Howard to reaffirm its outperform rating and $17 price target on Range Resources' stock, which is more than 65% above the current trading price even after today's rally.
Range Resources is sitting on a massive supply of low-cost natural gas. But the problem for the company is that it has had a hard time creating value for investors as it develops its gas resources -- the stock is down significantly in recent years even though production is way up. While Range has pledged greater spending discipline, investors might want to put this natural gas stock on their watchlist until the company proves it can create shareholder value.