The 2013 All-America Research Team: Oil & Gas Exploration & Production, No. 2: William Featherston

UBS’s William Featherston is back in second place after a year at No. 3.

William Featherston

First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 11

Team debut: 2003

UBS’s William Featherston is back in second place after a year at No. 3. His ratings “always reflect a good fundamental perspective, and he never seems swayed by short-term momentum in the sector,” according to one grateful client. As natural gas has become oversupplied, producers have shifted their focus from shale gas operations to shale oil, where few opportunities exist, Featherston reports, and the best plays have been identified. “So we’ve focused on trying to figure out who has the best acreage position, who has the largest inventory and, within that context, which companies can generate the best debt-adjusted cash-flow-per-share growth.” Also taking valuation into account, top Featherston picks include Houston’s EOG Resources, a pure play that he says was the “first one to unlock oil shale,” and Marathon Oil Corp., which derives all of its expansion from shale oil; and Irving, Texas–based Pioneer Natural Resources Co., with its impressive position in the Permian Basin in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Likely to benefit from domestic unconventional-oil growth and international exploration are Woodlands, Texas–based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy of Houston. — Carolyn Koo