Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Small independent oil and gas producer Bill Barrett Corp. (NYSE:HPR) stock is down 11% on Feb. 10. The stock had moved up as much as 35% since late January before beginning to fall on the 9th.
So what: Like most of its peers, the price of crude oil futures is going to lead to big ups and downs for Bill Barrett Corp's stock, and likely for much of 2015. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 5% today, while Brent crude lost 3%, and there has been relatively high correlation between oil prices and the stocks for many oil and gas producers:
Now what: Don't mistake market volatility with anything material. There isn't any news out there pertaining to this company, but we do know that 2015 is going to be challenging for many U.S. producers, and Bill Barrett Corp. is no exception. So far, the company hasn't announced its drilling program for 2015, but we can expect the company will likely reduce its capital expenditures from last year based on the market conditions.
What should investors do? Frankly, small independent oil and gas producers are going to have a tough year, and a prolonged delay in oil prices rebounding will be hardest-felt by some of the independents. Right now, oil and gas pipeline operators are probably a better place to look if you want to invest in the potential of America's energy resources.