Can Pantheon Resources Plc And Xtract Resources PLC Save Your Portfolio From A Bear?

Trying to protect your portfolio from a global market meltdown is a tough task. Indeed, with markets around the world looking for any excuse to fall, it’s almost impossible to find stocks that are immune from the selling. 

Two stocks that have shown an impressive immunity to the market’s manic depressive attitude however are Pantheon Resources (LSE: PANR) and Xtract Resources (LSE: XTR). Over the past year, while the FTSE 100 has slumped by 16%, Pantheon and Xtract have risen 434% and 157%, respectively. So do these resource minnows deserve a place in your portfolio? 

Bucking the trend 

It’s a tricky time to be in the oil business. The oil market is oversupplied and at $28 a barrel, most producers are unable to make a profit. That said, Pantheon seems to be bucking wider market trends. The company’s first oil well, VOBM#1 in East Texas, flow-tested at 1,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day and further testing shows that the well could exceed the pre-drill P50 prospective resource estimate of 1.4m barrels of oil equivalent. Unfortunately, the testing of Pantheon’s second onshore well, VOS#1 has been interrupted by a blockage, although initial testing showed that flow rates from VOS#1 were consistent with the well being able to provide a mid-estimate total recovery of 3m barrels of oil equivalent.

And unlike many other US onshore independent oil and gas producers, Pantheon’s costs are extremely low, which means that the company can continue to turn a profit even with oil prices below $30 a barrel. According to the company’s December corporate presentation, capital expenditure and operating expenditure for each well is expected to be less than $5 per barrel. Moreover, management believes that operating costs per barrel could fall as low as $1 to $2 in the long term. 

Safe haven 

Xtract has transformed itself into one of AIM’s most exciting small businesses over the past year. The group has acquired a number of mining assets over the past 24 months, all of which are low-cost and expected to yield a return for Xtract within three to four years. 

One such acquisition is the Fair Bride mine. The deal cost Xtract $12.5m, although it’s estimated that the project will pay for itself within three years. What’s more, initial figures indicate that the project will generate a net cumulative cash flow of $82.4m. Another deal is the joint venture agreement with Mineral Technologies International Limited, which management expects will pay for itself in less than six months. Construction for the joint venture is expected to commence during the third quarter of 2016. 

City analysts expect Xtract to report a pre-tax profit of £2.9m for full-year 2016, the company’s first profit in more than five years. On a per share basis, forecasts suggest Xtract could earn 0.02p this year, which implies that the company’s shares are trading at a forward P/E of 9. If everything goes to plan and Xtract meets City forecasts, the company could be a great long-term investment for your portfolio. 

Special small cap investment strategy.  To learn more about investing in small companies and the amazing opportunities they can offer, be sure to read the latest piece by Mark Rogers, our Chief Investment Advisor.  He's come up with a very special strategy.  Read about this small cap strategy here.  

Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

*Editor's note: This article originally stated that there were "no City analysts covering the company" for Pantheon Resources, and has since been amended to remove this inaccuracy.