Shares of Gulfport Energy (Nasdaq: GPOR) hit a 52-week low yesterday. Let's look at how it got here and whether clouds are ahead.

How it got here
The start of the fall for Gulfport was the company's first-quarter earnings report. Expectations were simply too high and even a 24% increase in production and a 27% rise in net income couldn't keep investors happy. Shares declined 15% in a single day and haven't looked back since.

More recently, the decline in the price of oil since the beginning of May has pushed shares even lower. Like many oil and gas producers, Gulfport has transitioned most of its production to oil. In May, the black gold accounted for 93% of production, so you can see why the decline has taken place.

Despite the disappointing fall, Gulfport is not alone by a long shot. Independent oil and gas producers Apache (NYSE: APA), Abraxas Petroleum (Nasdaq: AXAS), and Bakken shale player Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG) have all experienced declines since the beginning of May, as you can see below.

GPOR Chart

GPOR data by YCharts

Despite the recent fall, Gulfport's valuation metrics are starting to look pretty attractive. Return on assets is strong, growth has been very solid, and even after a decline in earnings estimates, the company's forward P/E is very low.



Quarterly Revenue Growth

Return on Assets

Forward P/E

Gulfport Energy 1.4 40.4% 12.8% 5.9
Apache 1.1 15.5% 10.9% 6.5
Abraxas Petroleum 4.2 18.4% 8.2% 9.5
Kodiak Oil & Gas 2.1           499.5% 2.0% 7.0

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

When compared with the three companies in the table above, Gulfport looks like it might be the best of the bunch.

What's next?
The question of how low Gulfport can go will be answered by oil prices, and if you know what the price of oil will be in six months, you're smarter than I am. What we have seen is oil fall from over $100 per barrel due to a temporary lull in political turmoil in the Middle East.

The price of oil may not rise quickly in the short term, but I think it's a pretty safe bet it will in the long term, and I think Gulfport will benefit when it does.

Our CAPS members don't have a ton of faith that Gulfport will rise soon, giving the stock a two-star rating out of five. With the volatility oil has displayed, this might not be the best stock to own in the energy space right now. But if you're interested in Gulfport then you should check out our report on three stocks that will benefit from $100 Oil. The report is free when you click here.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

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