First Berlin – Diversified Gas & Oil PLC Research Update (30/06/2020)

First Berlin Equity Research has initiated coverage on Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (ISIN: GB00BYX7JT74). Analyst Simon Scholes' rating is BUY with a price target of GBp 130.00.

We expect DGOC's adjusted EBITDA (hedged) to grow 4% this year. By contrast, consensus estimates for a peer group of seven of the largest Appalachian gas exploration and production companies show an average decline in 2020 EBITDA of 36%. The divergence in performance is a consequence of the difference between DGOC's business model and that of its peers. New gas production at the peers stems primarily from drilling of unconventional wells subject to steep output declines (production in year two is less than half of production in year one). According to their own guidance, total CAPEX (largely drilling and completion) at the peers will be down 39% this year because of weak gas prices. If drilling declines, so does output. DGOC does not drill but acquires mature wells with stable production and low declines. It then maximises their efficiency, seeking to improve production from active wells and bring non-producing wells back into production. DGOC's most recent quarterly dividend of USD0.035 per share equates to an annual yield of 12.0%. The stability of the business model, two recent EBITDA per share-accretive acquisitions and a hedgebook in which we estimate ca. 78% of 2020 and 69% of 2021 gas production is hedged at USD2.69/MMBtu and USD2.62/MMBtu respectively should ensure the sustainability of the current dividend. In addition, the current market cap warrants the stock's inclusion in the FTSE 250 Index in September. Our recommendation is Buy with a price target of GBP1.30.