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Fundamental data is updated weekly, as of the prior weekend. Please download the Full Report and Dividend Report for any changes.
Apr 20, 2020
Our Reports on Stocks in the Oil & Gas Pipeline Industry
Image Shown: Valuentum's thesis on MLPs prior to their collapse in mid-2015. Our reports on stocks in the Oil & Gas Pipeline industry can be found in this article. Reports include ENB, ET, EPD, KMI, MMP.
Apr 13, 2020
Historic Oil Deal Reached
Image Source: Chevron Corporation - March 2020 Security Analyst Meeting Presentation. Over the Easter holiday weekend, members from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (‘OPEC’), non-OPEC members that are part of the OPEC+ group (countries that in the recent past have joined forces with OPEC to curtail global oil supplies in a formal manner), and non-OPEC members outside of the OPEC+ group such as Brazil, Canada, and the United States came to an agreement to cut their collective oil output by north of 10 million barrels per day. Global oil and other raw energy resource prices have been simply demolished year-to-date due to a combination of demand destruction from the ongoing coronavirus (‘COVID-19’) pandemic and the emergence of a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Please note that oil demand destruction due to the “cocooning” of households (and the related drop off in refined petroleum product demand from automobiles, airplanes, etc.) may be as high as 35 million barrels per day according to some analysts, an enormous figure that’s resulting in major stockpile buildups all over the world. Other analysts don’t necessarily see the level of demand destruction as that high (projections are being updated constantly); however, they are still calling for a drop off in demand that’s in the ten(s) of millions of oil barrels per day range (at least in the short-term, depending on how long the pandemic lasts). Even if this agreement is effectively implemented, that won’t result in oil prices (and other raw energy resource prices) returning to pre-COVID-19 levels in the short/medium-term, in our view, but will make emerging from this pandemic an easier task given that global oil storage capacity is nearing its limit. As of this writing on April 13, oil prices are trading up modestly but are still down by well over 50% year-to-date.
Mar 20, 2020
Stress in the Oil & Gas Industry Grows as Major Energy Exporters Hunker Down
Image Shown: WTI is down almost 61% over the past year as raw energy resources prices were decimated by the news that OPEC and non-OPEC members couldn’t reach another production curtailment deal in early-March 2020. Upstream capital expenditures are coming down aggressively in the US shale patch and elsewhere, and just as importantly, even the bigger firms are throwing in the towel and scaling back their ambitions. Exxon Mobil has recently pledged to make material cuts to its capital expenditure budget, while Chevron is considering such a move, as are others. It will take a lot more than that to stabilize raw energy resources pricing given the demand destruction caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with many households in major demand regions (namely the US and Europe) now “cocooning” in their homes to wait out the crisis. That’s on top of an expected surge in oil supplies from OPEC and non-OPEC nations, with an eye towards Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Russia. We caution our members to not catch a falling knife here.
Mar 11, 2020
Worst in Energy Not Over, Stay Away from Leveraged Enterprises, Seeds of Financial Crisis Sown?
Image Shown: The energy and banking markets continue to be experiencing pain. Since we removed the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) from the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio, the XLE has fallen more than 50% and the XLF has fallen 13%, while the SPY has held up roughly 2%. We continue to believe staying away from energy and financials/banks will be a source of significant alpha.These are challenging times. The oil price swoon has complicated an already-dire situation with COVID-19. We’re seeing cracks in the credit markets, and the European banking system is far from healthy. The US banks may face knock-on impacts from energy loan defaults and hold significant counter-party risk from their European brethren, which have breached post-Lehman lows. We’re doubtful any fiscal stimulus will stave off this crisis, and it may just set up the markets for the next leg down, if Congress ends up in a stalemate. We will continue to keep our members informed on the state of global energy markets as more information becomes available, but we think avoiding energy and banks/financials will continue to be a source of alpha. We removed the XLE and XLF from the newsletter portfolios in August of last year. We’re reiterating our 2,350-2,750 target range on the S&P 500.
Mar 9, 2020
Oil Markets Get Decimated
Image Shown: Oil prices have been decimated year-to-date. The outlook for independent upstream names has become dire. In an industry that’s generated little to no free cash flow since 2010, and instead has relied heavily on capital markets to stay afloat; for all the hype surrounding surging US production of raw energy resources there hasn’t been much shareholder value creation to show for it. Consumers and certain US states have been big winners, sure, but equity holders and now potentially credit holders have largely taken it on the chin. We will continue following the space for our members going forward, and please note there’s a very good reason we removed the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF from our newsletter portfolios back in August 2019 (link here), the outlook for the energy space (particularly oil & gas) was lackluster at the time and has since become dire.
Mar 9, 2020
Oil Prices Collapse, Reiterating 2,350-2,750 S&P 500 Target Range; Credit Crunch Looming?
From Value Trap: “The banking sector was not the only sector that faced considerable selling pressure during the Financial Crisis of the late 2000s, of course. Other companies that required funding to maintain their business operations faced severe liquidity risk, or a situation where refinancing, or rolling over debt, might be difficult to do on fair terms, making such financing prohibitive in some cases. Those that faced outsize debt maturities during the most severe months of the credit crunch faced a real threat of Chapter 11 restructuring had the lending environment completely seized. In thinking about share prices as a range of probable fair value outcomes, equity prices tend to face pressure as downside probabilities such as a liquidity event are baked into the market price and at a higher probability. Because debtholders are higher up on the capital structure than equity holders, shareholders can sometimes get nothing in the event of a bankruptcy filing. Entities that are extremely capital-market dependent, or those that require ongoing access to new capital to fund operations, often face the greatest risk of the worst equity price declines during deteriorating credit market conditions.” Value Trap: Theory of Universal Valuation, published 2018
Mar 3, 2020
Covering Oil Markets Ahead of the Upcoming OPEC/OPEC+ Meetings
Image Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation – 2019 IR Presentation. On March 5, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (‘OPEC’) is holding an “extraordinary” meeting in Vienna, Austria, which will be followed up by a ministerial meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC members the next day. The group had already agreed to cut oil supplies by an additional 0.5 million barrels of per day (‘bpd’) back in December 2019 through an agreement that would last through March 2020 (that was on top of an existing deal to keep 1.2 million bpd off of the market which runs through the end of March 2020 as well). As part of that deal, Saudi Arabia offered to “voluntarily” reduce supplies by an additional 0.4 million bpd; however, that hasn’t been enough to prop up oil prices (even though ~1.7-2.1 million bpd of oil supplies are effectively removing removed from the market at 100% compliance). As of this writing, the internationally-oriented May 2020 Brent contracts are trading near $52 per barrel, down from the high $60s level seen at the end of 2019. The US-oriented WTI contracts haven’t fared any better, and April 2020 deliveries are trading near $47 per barrel as of this writing.
Feb 7, 2020
GasLog MLP Family Highlights Problems with Flawed Model
Image Source: GasLog Ltd - 2018 Analyst Day Presentation. We’ve written about it many times in the past and we’re writing about it again: the master limited partnership (‘MLP’) model is fundamentally broken. Equity holders in this arrangement have little to no say over how the family of companies are run, and management is often beholden to no one. Only by converting to a C-Corp can this arrangement be rectified. Recently, the LP GasLog Partners cut its per unit distribution by 78% sequentially after reporting fourth quarter and full year earnings for 2019. Now the LP’s distribution stands at $0.50 per unit on an annualized basis. Equity holders got crushed on February 6, 2020, with GLOG ending down 9% and GLOP falling by a whopping 49%. This follows two other high profile cuts recently, at Alliance Resource Partners and Martin Midstream Partners.
Jan 29, 2020
The Great Guyanese Oil Boom
Image Shown: A drill ship floating in open waters. Image Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation – 2019 IR Presentation. Guyana’s economy of ~780,000 people is about to experience the oil boom bonanza of a lifetime, even in the relatively subdued oil price environment Exxon Mobil is currently operating in, as substantial royalties and taxes are set to fill the government’s coffers. That will allow for major public investments in healthcare, education, infrastructure, and so much more. Given the relatively small size of Guyana’s population, there will be a lot of new funds to go around. For Exxon Mobil and its partners, turning ~750,000 barrels of gross daily crude oil production capacity online by 2025 would be quite the achievement. In less than five years, the consortium went from hitting it big on the exploration side to reaching first-oil, and in ten years, the group plans on turning Guyana into one of the world’s largest oil exporters on a net basis. However, please keep in mind that big projects like these are contending with material mature field declines across Exxon Mobil’s upstream portfolio. Guyana is just part of the puzzle for Exxon Mobil.
Jan 23, 2020
Why Natural Gas Prices are So Low and Will Likely Remain So for Some Time
Image Source: Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation – November 2019 IR Presentation. Domestic natural gas strip prices in the US are trading at rock bottom levels as of this writing, and we expect the pain will only continue. There are many reasons why natural gas prices in the US are quite low right now including surging associated production (gas supplies produced alongside oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids) from unconventional upstream plays where natural gas is viewed more so as a nuisance than a marketable product given the liquids-oriented economics of those plays, surging non-associated production (natural gas supplies are the only product) out of Appalachia over the past decade (the growth in natural gas production in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia has been astounding due to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays), and the lack of the kind of serious weather-related demand this winter season (such as a very cold winter in North America, especially in the Midwest and East Coast) that can quickly drain flush storage facilities.



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