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View from the Oil-Field Services Patch

By Elliott H. Gue on May. 9, 2014

Editor’s Note: The Energy & Income Advisor team will attend the National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships’ upcoming MLP Investor Day, an annual event where we’ve uncovered some of our best investment ideas in recent years. Over this grueling two days, we’ll attend presentations from 81 master limited partnerships and talk to management teams during break-out sessions and one-on-one meetings. One of our goals this year is to kick the tires on a few names we’re considering for our MLP Portfolio’s aggressive sleeve. We’ll share our key takeaways from the conference and top ideas in an exclusive webinar on May 22.

Each earnings season, we look forward to poring over quarterly results from the big four oil-field services companies–Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB), Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI) and Weatherford International (NYSE: WFT).

The big four’s conference calls to discuss quarterly earnings–particularly the wide-ranging discussions hosted by Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil-field services company–provide invaluable insights into other aspects of the energy patch.

In the past, closely listening to Schlumberger’s quarterly conference calls has helped us to profit from rapidly improving margins in the marine-seismic services segment in 2010 and to avoid much of the fallout from the collapse in pressure-pumping prices that occurred in 2012.

More recently, trends identified by the major oil-field services firms prompted our bullish stance on proppant producers, US Silica (NYSE: SLCA) and Hi-Crush Partners LP (NYSE: HCLP). We recently booked a 56 percent gain on the latter in our Model Portfolio.

The read-through from Schlumberger and the other major oil-field services companies’ earnings reports and subsequent conference calls are particularly useful because they occur before many other energy-related names announce quarterly results.

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In October 2012, renowned energy expert Elliott Gue launched the Energy & Income Advisor, a twice-monthly investment advisory that's dedicated to unearthing the most profitable opportunities in the sector, from growth stocks to high-yielding utilities, royalty trusts and master limited partnerships.

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