Apache shares at an attractive entry point-Barron's

Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:16pm EST

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Nov 25 (Reuters) - The recent share-price decline of energy exploration outfit Apache Corp, hurt in part by a deterioration in oil and natural gas prices, has pushed the stock into inexpensive territory, business weekly Barron's said on Sunday.

Shares of Apache are down to $77.14, from a high of $111.57 in February.

Aside from lower energy prices, which have pressured revenues, the company disappointed the market with a one-time charge of $539 million in the third quarter for a write-down in the value of exploration property in Canada, Barron's said.

The stock is down about 6 percent since the latest quarterly results were released.

"Apache seems cheap relative to its history and peers," Barron's said, adding that the company's earnings per share have risen an average of 23 percent a year since 2002.

Apache is trading at 7.65 times consensus analysts' earnings estimates for next year, versus a historic median of 10 times, and the stock is trading at book value, versus a median of two times book, the newspaper said.

"As for energy prices, they have a funny way of going up as well as down. A further deterioration could hurt Apache short-term, but it's a good bet oil and gas will eventually turn up, and so will Apache shares," Barron's said.

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