Altus Midstream Is Down 2/3rds Since Its IPO – Is It Time to Buy?

Altus Midstream [stock_market_widget type="inline" template="generic" color="default" assets="ALTM" markup="(NASDAQ: {symbol} {currency_symbol}{price} ({change_pct}))" api="yf"] acts as the midstream arm of Apache Corporation [stock_market_widget type="inline" template="generic" color="default" assets="APA" markup="(NYSE: {symbol} {currency_symbol}{price} ({change_pct}))" api="yf"] in the Alpine High area of Texas’s Delaware Basin. Apache needed midstream infrastructure when it began drilling in this previously ignored area. For this reason, they created Altus in 2018 and IPO’d ALTM stock soon after.

However, the stock has lost nearly two-thirds of its value from the IPO price. Moreover, drillers seem to produce more natural gas than the market can handle, and prices remain at low levels. With ALTM stock now trading in the $3s per share range, should investors take a chance?

The Reason Apache Created Altus

In 2016, Apache made a major natural gas discovery in the Alpine High, the southern part of the Delaware Basin on the western edge of the Permian Basin. Other drillers had overlooked this region, so Apache secured about 307,000 acres in the area at an average of $1,300/acre.

When Apache formed Altus Midstream, it also handed over its existing infrastructure in the area to this subsidiary. Altus also holds the option to own an equity interest in five Permian Basin natural gas pipelines.

Altus Has Disappointed Investors So Far

The IPO came quickly. However, since ALTM stock launched, it has seen a brief and disappointing trading history. The IPO occurred on Nov. 12, 2018, opening at $10 per share. Since that time, the stock has steadily declined. Just eight months later, it has fallen to around $3.50 per share.

It seems as natural gas prices go, so goes ALTM stock. At around $2.25 per 1000 BTUs, investors seem to have little interest in natural gas. The supply glut has taken natural gas stocks such as Chesapeake Energy and Encana to 52-week lows. Consequently, Altus Midstream stock trades at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of about 18.6.

Should I Buy ALTM Stock?

Once earnings turn positive, they forecast average annual earnings growth of almost 235% per year over the next five years!

Despite its low price (or perhaps, because of it) ALTM stock could become a lucrative, speculative play. Yes, the low natural gas prices pose risks that producers will slow down (or possibly shut down) drilling in this region. Naturally, such a move would further devastate Altus Midstream stock.

However, even in an environment of low natural gas prices, Wall Street sees nothing but growth. Analysts predict the company to turn profitable in 2020. Moreover, once earnings turn positive, they forecast average annual earnings growth of almost 235% per year over the next five years! They also see revenue growth of 77.7% this year and 80.4% in 2020.

Furthermore, technology may ultimately address this supply glut. Analysts forecast a “quantum leap” in natural gas exports. New pipelines have increased exports south of the border.

Additionally, the industry continues to construct liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals at a rapid pace. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects more than 63% growth in LNG exports next year alone, and double-digit increases should also continue for years to come. This will bring natural gas to Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world where it fetches much higher prices.

Due to low natural gas prices in the U.S., it seems Wall Street wants little to do with the industry. However, investors who have both a tolerance for risk and a little patience could see massive gains as Altus Energy helps to bring Alpine High gas to the world.

The opinions provided in this article are those of the author and do not constitute investment advice. Readers should assume that the author and/or employees of Capital 10X hold positions in the company or companies mentioned in the article. For more information, please see our Content Disclaimer.

Will Healy is a freelance business and financial writer based in the Dallas area. In addition to marijuana, energy, and mining stocks, he has also written about real estate, insurance, personal finance, and macroeconomics. In addition to Capital 10X, his articles have appeared on sites such as InvestorPlace, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, GOBankingRates, and Seeking Alpha. Will holds a B.S. in Journalism from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Geography from the University of North Texas, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Phone: 416-721-8257. Address: 682 Indian Road Toronto, Ontario M6P 2C9.


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