A Bold Look at Oil Services ETFs

Past carnage in the oil services sector could become a benefit going forward as some of the industry’s weaker hands have disappeared.

“Over the past 3 years plus, the makeup of the indexes have changed substantially. Gone are many weaker companies that could not withstand the oil and gas downturn. Included are the survivors and a few newcomers that are generally well capitalized,” according to a Seeking Alpha analysis of the oil services ETFs. “A great deal of companies have gone bankrupt, are now nano-caps or micro-caps that don’t qualify for index membership, have been merged to survive or taken over outright. Comparing 2014 and 2015 form N-Q Schedules of Holdings for the three ETFs to today’s holdings demonstrates the huge recent turnover in the baskets.”

If crude oil prices rebound, shale hydraulic fracturing companies could increase spending on exploration and production this year, supporting further gains in energy services-related ETFs.

“Many companies have gone through bankruptcy, some emerging, some not. Many others lost over 90% of their market cap at the nadir of the oil and gas selloff and are not likely to ever fully rebound,” notes Seeking Alpha. “There is far less competition in the space now, so if oil and gas production continues to pick up, many of these companies could do very well intermediate term.”

For more information on the crude oil market, visit our oil category.