Morgan Stanley | Looking ahead to Q4 results, we expect earnings growth for the sector of 16% Q/Q. This is thanks in part to the fact that the average price of oil in the quarter has been almost $80/bbl (up 9% Q/Q). And in general, the price of natural gas rose to maximum levels, with the prices of NBP up (on average) 87% Q/Q, while those of Asian liquified natural gas 106% Q/Q on average. Whatsmore, we expect that throughout 2021 the 5 sector giants have generated almost $90 billion in organic FCF (the highest for the decade). And given that we see the price of commodities remaining high, we estimate some $80 billion of FCF for 2022.
This should improve distribution to shareholders and we believe this will be announced in Q4 results: with buybacks of $20 billion dollars and higher dividends, we expect a total distribution to shareholders of almost $47 billion. In conclusion, we maintain our Buy vision for the sector. We believe that after a good 2021 (the second best sector in terms of its performance in Europe) the majority of the positive factors will remain in place this year. Furthermore, it’s a clear beneficiary of the hike in rates and the rotation to Value.
Top picks: Shell, Eni and Repsol.