4 huge reasons Senex Energy Ltd shares are ready to soar

It’s been a dreadful 18 months for the share price of oil and gas producer Senex Energy Ltd (ASX: SXY).

Shares had plummeted from 75 cents to just 12 cents after the price of oil started to go up in flames. So it must have come as quite a shock to management when the company received a ‘please explain’ letter from the ASX, which noted shares in Senex had jumped almost 30% over the last five trading days.

I noted back in January that I thought Senex shares were a bargain, and the company recently offered four huge reasons in response to the ASX query as to why it thinks its share price has been rocketing:

1. It has a huge pile of cash

Investors love cash and although the company’s market value today has risen beyond the 70% cash level it hit in January, the strong financial position of $100 million of cash, $177 million of total liquidity, and no cash drawn on its debt facility is hugely appealing in the volatile oil price environment.

2. It has low production costs

Senex noted that its low operating costs and oil price hedging have been valuable tools to protect margins during the 2016 financial year (FY16).

3. Big growth is set to come

The Surat Basin represents a huge growth opportunity for Senex which has cash to fund development and a binding 20-year gas sales agreement in place with GLNG, 30% owned by Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) when the gas starts flowing.

4. The price of oil is rising!

Senex notes it is well positioned to take advantage of its existing energy assets as the price of oil recovers. Oil prices have rebounded about 22% since 11 February in U.S. dollar terms.

Should you buy?

Senex has been well navigated through the oil price storm by the company’s management team, and doesn’t have the costly debt exposure that larger energy companies like Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) have.

Senex is still leveraged to the price of oil and gas long term, as well as the operational risks which come with oil and gas production, but without the risk of debt my view is that, at current prcies, Senex Energy remains one of the most attractive oil and gas producers available for investors.

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Motley Fool contributor Regan Pearson owns shares of Senex Energy Limited. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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