Steve Ballmer has been CEO of Microsoft Microsoft since taking over from Bill Gates in January 2000, but his long tenure is drawing to a close.
The tech giant said Friday that Ballmer has decided to retire within the next year, and the board has begun a process to find his successor.
Ballmer, who has drawn criticism from investors for allowing rivals like Apple Apple and Google Google to outrun Microsoft in mobile devices, is currently trying to transform Microsoft to focus on devices and services rather than just software.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said in the company’s release.
Since Ballmer took the reins Microsoft shareholders have had a negative total return of more than 17%, with the stock down over 35%, according to data from FactSet. While some of that decline can be attributed to the tech sector’s rapid descent from the heights of the dot-com bubble, Microsoft has frustrated investors for years with its inability to translate a massive cash generation machine — revenue and profits have grown enormously — into stock market performance.
5 Best Energy Stocks To Own For 2015: CAMAC Energy Inc (CAK)
CAMAC Energy Inc. (CAMAC), incorporated on December 12, 1979, is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on energy resources in Africa. Its asset portfolio consists of nine production and exploration licenses in four countries covering an area of 43,000 square kilometers (approximately 10 million acres), including existing production and other projects offshore Nigeria, as well as exploration licenses with hydrocarbon potential onshore and offshore Kenya, offshore Gambia, and offshore Ghana.
The Company owns 100% of the economic interests under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and related assets, contracts and rights pertaining to those certain Oil Mining Leases 120 and 121 (OMLs 120 and 121) including the producing Oyo Field which is located in deep-water (200-500 meters) approximately 75 kilometers (46 miles) offshore Nigeria. In September 2013, drilling operations commenced on the Oyo-7 well in OML 120. In October 2013, the preliminary results from the Oyo-7 well were announced. Based on logging while drilling (LWD) data, the well encountered gross oil pay of 133 feet (net oil pay of 115 feet) and gross gas pay of 103 feet (net gas pay of 93 feet) in the gas cap from the producing Pliocene reservoir, with reservoir. The top of the reservoir was penetrated at 5,564 feet.
The Kenya PSCs for blocks L1B and L16 each provide for an initial exploration period of two years with specified minimum work obligations during that period. The Company conducts, for each block, a gravity and magnetic survey and acquire, process and interpret two dimensional (2D) seismic data. The gravity and magnetic survey on blocks L1B and L16 was completed in April 2013. The Company has the right to apply for up to two additional two-year exploration periods with specified additional minimum work obligations, including the acquisition of three dimensional (3D) seismic da ta and the drilling of one exploratory well on each block du! ring each such additional period. In December 2013, the Company initiated an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study in blocks L1B and L16 in order to obtain the license to carry out a 2D seismic survey.
The Kenya PSCs for blocks L27 and L28 each provide for an initial exploration period of three years with specified minimum work obligations during that period. The Company conducts, for each block, a regional geological and geophysical study, acquire 2D seismic data and acquire, process and interpret 3D seismic data. The Company has the right to apply for up to two additional two-year exploration periods with specified additional minimum work obligations, including the drilling of one exploratory well on each block, during each such additional period. CAMAC is participating in a multi-client combined gravity / magnetic and 2D seismic survey which is underway in blocks L27 and L28.
The Gambia Licenses for both blocks provide for an initial exploration period of four years with specified minimum work obligations during that period. The Company conducts, for each block, a regional geological study, acquire process and interpret 750 square kilometers of 3D seismic data, drill one exploration well to the total depth of 5,000 meters below mean sea level and evaluate drilling results. The Company has the right to apply for up to two additional two-year exploration periods with specified additional minimum work obligations, including the drilling of one exploration well during each additional period for each block.
- [By Rich Bieglmeier]
But, we’ll take a look at CAMAC Energy Inc (NYSEMKT:CAK). Since the odds are you haven’t heard of CAK, the company is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on energy resources in Africa. Its asset portfolio consists of nine production and exploration licenses in four countries covering an area of 43,000 square kilometers (approximately 10 million acres), including existing production and other projects offshore Nigeria, as well as exploration licenses with hydrocarbon potential onshore and offshore Kenya, offshore Gambia, and offshore Ghana.
5 Best Energy Stocks To Own For 2015: Weatherford International Ltd(WFT)
Weatherford International Ltd. provides equipment and services used in the drilling, evaluation, completion, production, and intervention of oil and natural gas wells worldwide. It offers artificial lift systems, which include reciprocating rod lift systems, progressing cavity pumps, gas lift systems, hydraulic lift systems, plunger lift systems, hybrid lift systems, wellhead systems, and multiphase metering systems. The company also provides drilling services, including directional drilling, ?Secure Drilling? services, well testing, drilling-with-casing and drilling-with-liner systems, and surface logging systems; and well construction services, such as tubular running services, cementing products, liner systems, swellable products, solid tubular expandable technologies, and inflatable products and accessories. In addition, it designs and manufactures drilling jars, underreamers, rotating control devices, and other pressure-control equipment used in drilling oil and nat u ral gas wells; and offers a selection of in-house or third-party manufactured equipment for the drilling, completion, and work over of oil and natural gas wells for operators and drilling contractors, as well as a line of completion tools and sand screens. Further, the company provides wireline and evaluation services; and re-entry, fishing, and thru-tubing services, as well as well abandonment and wellbore cleaning services; stimulation and chemicals, including fracturing and coiled tubing technologies, cement services, chemical systems, and drilling fluids; integrated drilling services; and pipeline and specialty services. It serves independent oil and natural gas producing companies. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- [By Johanna Bennett]
Earlier this week, analysts at Credit Suisse reduced earnings estimates for Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Schlumberger (SLB) and Weatherford International (WFT).
- [By reports.droy]
In a recent article from the Financial Times, GE’s Oil and Gas division head Lorenzo Simonelli stated that the company had started to become a major player in the oil and gas industry, taking market share from the “big four” in the industry- Schlumberger (SLB), Halliburton (HAL), Weatherford (WFT) and Baker Hughes (BHI). Although it still remains smaller than the big four it does have a promising future ahead.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Although other large-cap service companies have exposure to Russia, we believe the effect is also minimal. Specifically, Weatherford (WFT) has noted that the Russian sanctions are not a concern as this is a very small portion of its business. In addition, this business is not impacted by the sanctions which are against Arctic and shale-related technologies. We estimate that Weatherford’s revenue in Russia is less than 3% of our estimated 2014 revenue.
- [By Dimitra DeFotis]
The market seems to be showing fatigue particularly with positive onshore oil service data points that may no longer seem incremental. Investors have become especially focused on potential issues and macro concerns. We believe this phase of enhanced risk perceptions will pass and still recommend owning selective stocks based on attractive valuations and healthy fundamentals. Of the 16 oilfield services companies having reported their quarters to date, the share price changes have at times been difficult to tie to specific results. … Five of the 12 companies who have beaten earnings expectations have seen their share prices drop on the day, including Basic Energy Services (BAS) (-9.0%), Baker Hughes (BHI) (-2.5%), National Oilwell Varco (NOV) (-1.5%), Oceaneering (OII) (-4.2%), and Schlumberger (SLB) (-2.0%). Other stocks beating expectations have traded higher as expected, including Cameron International (CAM) (+4.1%), FMC Technologies (FTI) (+3.1%), Mitcham In dustries (MIND) (+3.8%), Nabors Industries (NBR) (+1.2%), Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN) (+1.8%), RPC (RES) (+8.4%), and Weatherford International (WFT) (+2.3%). Companies which have missed have universally seen their share prices decline, including Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO) (-4.3%), Gulfmark Offshore (GLF) (-0.1%), and Hercules Offshore (HERO) (-6.9%). Halliburton (HAL) was in line and flat on the day.
5 Best Energy Stocks To Own For 2015: BG Group PLC (BRGXF.PK)
BG Group plc (BG Group) is a natural gas company. The Company is engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil. It operates in three business segments: Exploration and Production (E&P), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Transmission and Distribution (T&D). Effective January 1, 2012, the Company was managed across three regions: Americas and Europe; Africa, Central and South Asia, and Australia and East Asia, supported by Global Energy Marketing and Shipping (GEMS) and BG Advance. The Company has interests in 25 countries on five continents. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired an interest in, and operatorship of, offshore blocks L10A (BG Group 40%) and L10B (BG Group 45%) in Kenya. During 2011, the Company acquired additional Marcellus shale properties in partnership with EXCO Resources, Inc. (EXCO). In June 2013, BG Group PLC announced that it has completed the sale of its 65.12% holding in Gujarat Gas Company Limited (G GCL). Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Heather Ingrassia]
On Thursday, August 15, GasLog (GLOG) announced that it had ordered two new 174K cbm Tri-Fuel Diesel Electric LNG carriers from Samsung Heavy Industries. These carriers are expected to be delivered in 2016 which is the same year the company will begin seven-year charters with BG Group (BRGYY.PK) (BRGXF.PK).
5 Best Energy Stocks To Own For 2015: Noble Corp (NE)
Noble Corporation is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling units and one floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) located globally. As of December 31, 2011, its fleet consisted of 14 semisubmersibles, 14 drillships, 49 jackups and two submersibles. Its fleet includes 11 units under construction, which include five ultra-deepwater drillships, and six jackup rigs. As of February 15, 2012, approximately 84% of its fleet was located outside the United States in areas, which included Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Middle East, India and the Asian Pacific. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it completed construction on the Noble Bully I, a drillship, owned through a joint venture with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc; completed construction on the Noble Bully II, a drillship, and it completed constructi on of Globetrotter-class drillship. As of February 15, 2012, it had 10 rigs under contract in Mexico with Pemex Exploracion y Produccion (Pemex).
During 2011, the Company conducted offshore contract drilling operations, which accounted for over 98% of its operating revenues. It conducts its contract drilling operations in the United States Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Middle East, India and the Asian Pacific. During 2011, revenues from Shell and its affiliates accounted for approximately 24% of its total operating revenues. During 2011, revenues from Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) accounted for approximately 18% and 19% of its total operating revenues. Revenues from Pemex accounted for approximately 15%, 20% and 23% of its total operating revenues.
Semisubmersibles are floating platforms which, by means of a water ballasting system, can be submerged to a predet ermined depth so that a substantial portion of the hull is b! elow the water surface during drilling operations. As of December 31, 2011, the semisubmersible fleet consisted of 14 units, including five Noble EVA-4000 semisubmersibles; three Friede & Goldman 9500 Enhanced Pacesetter semisubmersibles; two Pentagone 85 semisubmersibles; two Bingo 9000 design unit submersibles; one Aker H-3 Twin Hull S1289 Column semisubmersible, and one Offshore Co. SCP III Mark 2 semisubmersible.
The Company’s drillships are self-propelled vessels. These units maintain their position over the well through the use of either a fixed mooring system or a computer controlled dynamic positioning system. Its drillships are capable of drilling in water depths from 1,000 to 12,000 feet. The maximum drilling depth of its drillships ranges from 20,000 feet to 40,000 feet. As of December 31, 2011, the drillship fleet consisted of 14 units, including four drillships under construction with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI) ; three Gusto Engineering Pelican Class drillships; two Bully-class drillships to be operated by it through a 50% joint venture with a subsidiary of Shell; one dynamically positioned Globetrotter-class drillship that left the shipyard during the fourth quarter of 2011; one Globetrotter-class drillship under construction; one moored Sonat Discoverer Class drillship capable of drilling in Arctic environments; one NAM Nedlloyd-C drillship, and one moored conversion class drillship.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 49 jackups in its fleet, including six jackups under construction. The rig hull includes the drilling rig, jacking system, crew quarters, loading and unloading facilities, storage areas for bulk and liquid materials, helicopter landing deck and other related equipment. All of its jackups are independent leg and cantilevered. Its jackups are capable of drilling to a maximum depth of 30,000 feet in water depths up to 400 feet.
The Company has two su! bmersible! s in the fleet, which are cold-stacked. Submersibles are mobile drilling platforms, which are towed to the drill site and submerged to drilling position by flooding the lower hull until it rests on the sea floor, with the upper deck above the water surface. Its submersibles are capable of drilling to a depth of 25,000 feet in water depths up to 70 feet.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
The past six months have been unkind to offshore drillers like Noble (NE), Ensco (ESV), Rowan (RDC) and Transocean (RIG). That doesn’t mean it’s time to buy, however.
Sure, Transocean has fallen a whopping 74% during the past six months, while Ensco has declined 49%, Noble has dropped 46% and Rowan is off 25%. Unfortunately, offshore drillers in general have the appearance of good, old-fashioned value traps. Societe Generale’s Edward Muztafago explains:
We are concerned that another leg down in dayrates remains, and that the lower spending outlook for 2015 will have more tangible ramifications for the shorter cycle jack-up market. We have lowered our dayrate assumptions for both floaters and jack-ups further. We are sticking to our outlook for depressed offshore driller multiples, as we do not believe sufficient drivers for multiple expansion will occur in 2015. We expect offshore drilling stocks to largely be value traps in 2015, and the recent rally may be driven by short covering that has caused shares of some offshore drillers to become overvalued…
We maintain our Hold on Rowan and Noble. We believe the companies are among the higher quality names in the subsector. Sufficient staying power exists for both to survive the oil services malaise that the industry is faced with. However, no driller will be immune from deteriorating fundamentals, and we expect the fundamental outlook to largely be in the driver’s seat over the next 12 months.
As always, there is an exception to the rule, and in this case that exception is Ensco (ESV), which got upgraded to Buy from Hold by Muztafago. He explains why:
We struggle a bit with the Street’s treatment of Ensco shares. The stock has been hit hardest among shares in the subsector. However, even with our reduced dayrate assumptions, including those for jack-ups, Ensco still appears to be in the best financial shape. The company should be able to meet
- [By Ben Levisohn]
November is just two days old, but already the offshore drillers are getting hammered, with Atwood Oceanics (ATW), Transocean (RIG), Seadrill (SDRL), Noble (NE) and Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO) down more than 8% so far this month.
5 Best Energy Stocks To Own For 2015: EMCORE Corporation(EMKR)
EMCORE Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides compound semiconductor-based products for the broadband, fiber optics, satellite, and solar power markets. The company operates in two segments, Fiber Optics and Photovoltaics. The Fiber Optics segment offers broadband products, including cable television, fiber-to-the-premises, satellite communication, video transport, and defense and homeland security products; and digital products comprising telecom optical, enterprise, laser/photodetector component, parallel optical transceiver and cable, and fiber channel transceiver products. This segment?s products enable information that is encoded on light signals to be transmitted, routed, and received in communication systems and networks. The Photovoltaics segment provides gallium arsenide (GaAs) multi-junction solar cells, covered interconnected cells, and solar panels for satellite applications; and concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) power systems for commercial and u tility scale solar applications, as well as GaAs solar cells and integrated CPV components for use in other solar power concentrator systems. The company markets its products through its direct sales force, external sales representatives and distributors, and application engineers worldwide. EMCORE Corporation was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
EMCORE (EMKR), together with its subsidiaries, provides compound semiconductor-based products for the broadband, fiber optics, satellite, and solar power markets. This stock closed up 1% to $4.09 in Tuesday’s trading session.
Tuesday’s Range: $4.00-$4.14
52-Week Range: $3.50-$5.62
Tuesday’s Volume: 187,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 103,744
From a technical perspective, EMKR trended modestly higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $4.03 with above-average volume. This stock has been making higher lows over the last three months each time it has pulled back, which is a bullish technical sign. This spike to the upside on Tuesday is starting to push shares of EMKR within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if EMRK manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $4.16 to $4.20 and then above $4.22 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EMKR as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support levels at $3.90 to $3.86 or above more support at $3.78 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 103,744 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then EMKR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $4.53 to its 200-day moving average of $4.65, or even $5 to $5.30.
- [By CRWE]
EMCORE Corporation (Nasdaq:EMKR), a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the fiber optic and solar power markets, reported that it is ramping production and shipping the Opticomm-EMCORE NEXTGEN OTP-1DVI2A1SU insert cards for the Optiva platform.