The Pennsylvania Gas Rush

Natural gas driller Atlas Energy Resources could have as much as 6 trillion cubic feet of reserves that haven’t even been figured into the firm’s stock price, Cramer said during Monday’s show. That could mean an additional $19 a share on the stock when those reserves are finally priced in.

Atlas already has 897 billion cubic feet of proven nat-gas reserves in Michigan and the Appalachia regions in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia. And ATN, a master limited partnership, also sponsors and manages, through a fee-based business, another 900 billion cubic feet for other companies. But recently Atlas announced that there’s potentially 4 trillion to 6 trillion cubic feet of nat gas under 224,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale region of Appalachia – five times the company’s total proven reserves. (Cramer said the choicest parts of Marcellus are in Pennsylvania; so much so we could be on the verge of a Pennsylvania gas rush.) Granted, these are potential, not proven, reserves, but Wall Street has yet to take notice at all.

The real estate alone should bump this $31 stock to $37, Cramer said. And that’s a low-ball estimate. Range Resources, the best-performing oil and gas stock in the S&P 500, earns about $15 a share from its Marcellus Shale exposure and trades at $62. What should ATN trade at considering Wachovia values its exposure at $19 a share?

Cramer’s suggestion: Buy some ATN and enjoy the 7.5% dividend yield until the Street catches on. It’s like you’re being paid to wait.

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