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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Oct 27, 2020
Energy Transfer’s Dividend Cut Not Enough, Needs to Slash It More
We expect another distribution cut from Energy Transfer in the not-too-distant future. Its traditional free cash flow generation is still too meager to cover its now-reduced distribution level, and the energy markets are simply not cooperating. The energy sector has been among the worst-performing equity sectors for some time now, and investor appetite for new equity and debt issuance is waning as return expectations are ratcheted down in a troubled energy resource environment. We expect more pain to come for Energy Transfer’s stock. Our fair value estimate stands at $4 per share.
Oct 20, 2020
ConocoPhillips Is Buying Concho Resources
Image Shown: An overview of the pro forma asset base of ConocoPhillips and Concho Resources Inc. Please note that Concho Resources’ main operations are in the Permian Basin in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico, a region that ConocoPhillips seeks to grow its exposure to. ConocoPhillips has an expansive upstream portfolio with operations worldwide, though its North American position is set to become a much larger part of its company-wide profile. Image Source: ConocoPhillips – ConocoPhillips & Concho Resources Transaction Announcement IR Presentation. On October 19, ConocoPhillips announced it was acquiring Concho Resources through an all-stock deal. If the deal goes through as planned, each share of CXO will be exchanged for 1.46 shares of COP, and as the press release notes, this represents “a 15 percent premium to closing share prices on October 13.” However, please keep in mind shares of CXO have fallen by roughly two thirds since October 2018 as of this writing, indicating ConocoPhillips is really not paying much of a premium for Concho Resources.
Oct 15, 2020
Our Thoughts on the Potential Acquisition of Concho Resources by ConocoPhillips
Image Source: ConocoPhillips – November 2019 Annual & Investor Meeting Presentation. According to Bloomberg, the super-independent ConocoPhillips is currently talking with Concho Resources about acquiring the company. We do not expect that such a deal will come with a significant premium, and furthermore, and we expect that such a deal will likely be funded with equity. Our reasoning is underpinned by recent M&A activity in the oil patch, such as the all-stock acquisition of Noble Energy by Chevron Corporation through a ~$5 billion deal that was completed in early-October. That deal involved Chevron paying a ~12% premium (based on ten-day average closing stock prices) at the time of the announcement, though please note shares of Noble Energy had cratered beforehand indicating that Chevron did not have to pay up for the company. Noble Energy, like Concho Resources, also had a significant position in the Permian Basin (though its Mediterranean assets were Chevron’s main target, in our view). We covered that deal in great detail. As it concerns our view that ConocoPhillips would likely use equity instead of cash to acquire Concho Resources (should such a deal materialize), that is largely due to ConocoPhillips’ sizable net debt load at the end of June 2020 and its inability to generate meaningful free cash flows in the current pricing environment for raw energy resources. Additionally, Concho Resources had a net debt load at the end of June 2020 and is also unable to generate meaningful free cash flows in the current environment. The oil patch is contending with serious financial constraints and all-stock acquisitions/mergers with minimal premiums are likely going to continue being the norm for some time.
Oct 2, 2020
Our Thoughts on the Oil & Gas Industry
Image Shown: Crude oil prices, measured by the WTI benchmark, plummeted during the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and have yet to fully recover. Declines in global crude oil prices have depressed prices for natural gas, natural gas liquids, and liquified natural gas as well. We expect that it will take some time for the oil and gas industry to truly recover, and hefty net debt loads combined with onerous dividend obligations are making that a very tough task. Juicy dividend yields are a sign of the headwinds facing the oil and gas industry and are not a sign of strong underlying strength in those firms that are paying out generous dividends. Most of the juicy dividend yields within the energy space are a sign of the stress facing those companies and the industry at-large, and we caution that the chance other oil majors follow Shell and BP in cutting their payout remains very likely. For instance, Exxon Mobil’s payout is simply not well-covered in the current raw energy resources pricing environment and the firm is taking on a lot of debt to cover those obligations. Chevron Corporation’s payout is also on shaky ground as it generated negative free cash flows during the first half of 2020 while carrying a large net debt load at the end of June, though like Exxon Mobil, Chevron’s management team has stuck with its current dividend policy so far. Like Shell, Chevron also grew its natural gas and LNG business meaningfully over the past few years, but that strategy did not pan out as intended.
Sep 17, 2020
Maybe Jim Cramer Was Overmatched
Image Source: EpicTop10.com. Have you ever wondered why so many trust the TV for financial advice or stock tips? You guessed it: It comes back to "brain science" or the concept of familiarity. When we see a celebrity or our favorite stock guru on the television, it arouses our emotions and connects us with the idea, making the experience more memorable. The brain tends to treat our favorite newscaster or celebrity as a trusted, familiar friend, and therefore we translate those feelings into expertise and a "valid" endorsement.
Sep 11, 2020
Thinking Slow: 3 Research Blind Spots That Changed the Investment World
Image Source: EpicTop10.com. We have to be on high alert about how our minds work. PBS is premiering a four-part series examining about how easily our minds are being hacked, and why it is so important to "think slow." Tune in (5). When it comes to the active versus passive debate, does the analysis suffer from parameter risk? With respect to empirical, evidence-based analysis, does the analysis have the entire construct wrong? When it comes to short-cut multiples, are we falling into the behavioral trap of thinking on autopilot? I hope that you found this article helpful, and don't let your mind get hacked!
Sep 10, 2020
High Yield Dividend Income Investing in a Time of Need
Image: EpicTop10.com. The skills to successfully invest for long-term capital gains or long-term dividend growth are much different than those required for generating high yield dividend income. Income investing is a much different proposition. However, the skills do center on a similar equity evaluation process, but one that requires an acknowledgement and heightened awareness of considerably greater downside risks. Income investing, or high yield dividend income investing, should at times be considered among the riskiest forms of investing, as many high dividend-yielding securities tend to trade closer to the characteristics of junk-rated bonds than they do most net cash rich and free cash flow generating powerhouses that we like so much in the Best Ideas Newsletter portfolio and Dividend Growth Newsletter portfolio.
Sep 8, 2020
The Most Important Thing: You
Research publisher Valuentum will continue to offer members great ideas, fantastic commentary, and wonderful newsletters and reports, but Pigeon Oak's mission will be to offer clients peace of mind with advice tailored to their goals and risk tolerances. Pigeon Oak will also offer several strategies for financial advisors and institutions. Please stay tuned in the coming months for more information on how I can meet your financial needs at Pigeon Oak Capital Management, LLC.
Sep 3, 2020
3 Lessons in Portfolio Management Over 10 Years
Image Source: http://www.epictop10.com/. "When I left as director in the equity and credit department at Morningstar in 2011, I thought I knew a whole heck of a lot about investing. I felt like I was one in the top 5-10 in the world as it relates to the category of practical knowledge of enterprise valuation (maybe include Koller at McKinsey, Mauboussin at Counterpoint, and Damadoran at Stern on this list). After all, I oversaw the valuation infrastructure of a department that used the process extensively, and the firm was among just a few that used enterprise valuation systematically. Then, at Valuentum, our small team would go on to build/update 20,000+ more enterprise valuation models. There can always be someone else out there, of course, but I don't think anybody has worked within the DCF model as much as I have across so many different companies. That said, through the past near-10 years managing Valuentum's simulated newsletter portfolios, I've also learned a number of things to become an even better portfolio manager." -- Brian Nelson, CFA
Sep 3, 2020
Schlumberger and Liberty Oilfield Services Make a Deal
Image Shown: Schlumberger NV is combining its OneStim business with Liberty Oilfield Services Inc. The picture above is an overview of the combined company on a pro forma basis. Image Source: Liberty Oilfield Services Inc – Schlumberger to Contribute OneStim to Liberty IR Presentation. On September 1, Schlumberger and Liberty Oilfield Services announced that Schlumberger would combine its onshore hydraulic fracturing business in the US and Canada, OneStim, with Liberty Oilfield Services. That includes Schlumberger’s pressure pumping and pumpdown perforating businesses in the relevant regions, and its frac sand business in the Permian Basin (West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico). In return, Schlumberger is getting a 37% equity stake in Liberty Oilfield Services (on a pro forma basis) which primarily offers pressure pumping and other oilfield services to upstream companies operating in onshore US markets. The day the news broke, shares of LBRT were up 36% during normal trading hours while shares of SLB were down 1%, as investors clearly saw Liberty Oilfield Services as the big winner from this industry consolidation.
Latest Press Releases
The High Yield Dividend Newsletter, Best Ideas Newsletter, Dividend Growth Newsletter, Nelson Exclusive publication, and any reports, articles and content found on this website are for information purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The sources of the data used on this website are believed by Valuentum to be reliable, but the data’s accuracy, completeness or interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Valuentum is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of its newsletters, reports, commentary, or publications and accepts no liability for how readers may choose to utilize the content. Valuentum is not a money manager, is not a registered investment advisor and does not offer brokerage or investment banking services. Valuentum, its employees, and affiliates may have long, short or derivative positions in the stock or stocks mentioned on this site.