NEW YORK — The “Taper Caper” is losing some of its shock and awe, in part because the Federal Reserve appears to finally have gotten its communications with Wall Street about future monetary policy properly calibrated.
On Wednesday, the Fed released the minutes of its Dec. 17-18 meeting, the get-together where they decided to start dialing back on its market-friendly bond-buying program this month.
After the release of the minutes, the financial markets yawned, rather than throwing a so-called “taper tantrum.” The Dow Jones industrial average finished the day down 68 points, 2 points better than where it was trading before the minutes came out. Similarly, the 10-year Treasury bond finished the day at 2.99%, precisely where it was prior to the release of the minutes.
Has the Fed finally gotten its message through that it plans to “taper” its bond purchases in a controlled fashion and that it will keep short-term rates near 0% for a long, long time?
5 Best Energy Stocks To Watch For 2014: Forbes Energy Services Ltd (FES)
Forbes Energy Services Ltd. (FES Ltd) is an independent oilfield services contractor that provides a range of well site services to oil and natural gas drilling and producing companies to help develop and enhance the production of oil and natural gas. These services include fluid hauling, fluid disposal, well maintenance, completion services, workovers and recompletions, plugging and abandonment, and tubing testing. FES Ltd operates in two segments: well servicing and fluid logistics and other. Its operations are concentrated in the onshore oil and natural gas producing regions of Texas, with additional locations in Mississippi, in Pennsylvania and, prior to the disposition of its Mexican assets in January 2012, which is discussed below, in Mexico. In January 2012, the Company sold its assets located in Mexico, as well as its equity interests in Forbes Energy Services Mexico Servicios de Personal, S. de R.L. de C.V. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By CRWE]
Forbes Energy Services Ltd. (NASDAQ:FES), a leader in well servicing and fluid logistics management in the oilfield services industry, will participate in the GHS 100 Energy Conference being held June 25-26, 2012, at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco.
5 Best Energy Stocks To Watch For 2014: CST Brands Inc (CST)
CST Brands, Inc., incorporated on November 7, 2012 , is a retailer of transportation fuels and convenience goods in North America. As of April 30, 2013, the Company operated 1,032 Corner Stores throughout the United States, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California. Its stores also provide prepared foods. In May 2013, the Company announced that the Company which includes Corner Store and Depanneur du Coin, spun off from Valero Energy Corporation.
The Company offers a range of products, such as snack foods, tobacco products, beverages and fresh foods, including its own brands: Fresh Choices sandwiches, salads and packaged goods; U Force energy drinks; Cibolo Mountain coffees (the United States); Transit Cafe coffee and bakery (Canada); FC bottled sodas, and Flavors 2 Go fountain sodas. Its Corner Store locations also provide in-store Subway sandwich shops.
- [By Holly LaFon]
Another area that is intriguing to us is the North American energy sector which looks to have a number of interesting catalysts currently. While the energy sector is at present only a modest overweight in the portfolios, we have been encouraged by several trends taking place for a number of years. These positive developments are also having an impact that goes far beyond the energy sector itself. Many believe that the U.S. will become energy independent and possibly a net exporter of natural gas and oil (currently restricted by law) in the next decade. This opinion is based primarily on the development of new drilling techniques (i.e. horizontal drilling, and high pressure fracking) that have enabled companies to access oil and natural gas reserves in shale formations that were previously not economically viable. The ability to tap into this acreage is a game-changer in our view and is already having a tremendous impact on the economy. Employment rates in these mostly rura l areas surrounding the shale basins are very high and companies thus find hiring extremely competitive. Strong labor markets tend to create strong local economies. Oil States International (OIS) has been able to capitalize on this trend by providing housing and other services to oil service workers that are in demand in the area. CST Brands (CST) operates gas stations in Texas, but it is increasingly looking to broaden its product offering beyond fuel. Rail companies like Union Pacific (UNP), Canadian Pacific (CP), Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Genesee and Wyoming (GWR) have also benefited substantially. Given that shale areas are rural and often lacking infrastructure, substantial investment must be made to support drilling and production activities. Without pipelines in place, railroads have been the primary takeaway mechanism for moving production to the various clusters of refining capacity around the United States. In order to serve this demand, massive investment in railcars has been nee
- [By John Kell]
Valero Energy Corp.(VLO) said its fourth-quarter profit rose 28% as the oil refiner got a boost from the spinoff of gas-station retailer CST Brands Inc.(CST) Results easily topped estimates.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Another potential earnings short-squeeze trade is CST Brands (CST), a retailer of transportation fuels and convenience goods in North America, which is set to release its numbers Tuesday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect CST Brands to report revenue of $3.19 billion.
The current short interest as a percentage of the float for CST Brands is very high at 19.4%. That means that out of the 55.66 million shares in the tradable float, 11.75 million shares are sold short by the bears. If the bulls get the earnings news they’re looking for, then this stock could easily rip substantially higher post-earnings as the bears rush to cover some of their bets.
From a technical perspective, CST is currently trending above its 50-day moving average, which is bullish. This stock has been trending sideways for the last three months, with shares moving between $30.31 on the downside and $33.96 on the upside. A high-volume move above the upper-end of its recent range could trigger a major breakout trade for shares of CST post-earnings.
If you’re in the bull camp on CST, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $32.99 to its all-time high at $33.96 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 1.29 million shares. If that breakout hits, then CST will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $45 a share.
I would simply avoid CST or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below its 50-day moving average of $32.12 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then CST will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at $31.06 to $30.31 a share. Any high-vol
5 Best Energy Stocks To Watch For 2014: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.(CLF)
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., a mining and natural resources company, produces iron ore pellets, lump and fines iron ore, and metallurgical coal products. The company operates six iron ore mines in Michigan, Minnesota, and eastern Canada; two iron ore mining complexes in Western Australia; five metallurgical coal mines located in West Virginia and Alabama; and one thermal coal mine located in West Virginia. It also owns a 45% economic interest in a coking and thermal coal mine located in Queensland, Australia; and a 30% interest in Amapa, a Brazilian iron ore project in Latin America, as well as chromite properties in Ontario, Canada. The company, formerly known as Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, was founded in 1847 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.
- [By Steven Russolillo]
Companies like iron-ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.(CLF) and videogame maker GameStop have fallen more than 20% this year, and data from Markit shows that short sellers have managed to turn those steep declines into profits.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Today’s been a lousy day for Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF).
It’s shares have dropped 4.7% to $17.78 at 2:31 p.m. today, joining a selloff that has caused Rio Tinto (RIO) to fall 2.4% to $52.11, BHP Billiton (BHP) to decline 2.8% to $64.82 and Vale (VALE) to drop 3.2% to $12.62.
The reason: China’s export data was tres terrible and commodity prices have dropped across the board–especially iron ore. And the one thing Cliffs Natural resources can’t afford is lower prices for iron ore.
Axiom Capital’s Gordon Johnson and James Bardowski explain why:
In summary, given our view on 2014 iron ore prices, we believe [Cliffs Natural Resources] will likely blow through its debt covenants in 2014, further cut its dividend, and likely need to do a very large dilutive equity deal (if the company is not able to execute these options, we see acute liquidity risk in the offing). While we recognize [Cliffs Natural Resources] has recently replaced its senior management team (CEO/Chairman & CFO), providing a new, more risk-averse approach to allocating capital, given our view on iron ore prices (anchored by what we see as structurally slower growth in China), we view the issues plaguing the company currently as structural. While we see a turnaround as possible, $114 iron ore suggests bankruptcy is a growing reality, inspiring our report’s title “Living On A Prayer”.
The sad thing is that it didn’t have to be this way, Johnson and Bardowski say. Cliffs Natural Resources once had a steady business selling iron to non-coastal companies but wanted to get in on the China play. So it purchased other mines, culminating in the acquisition of Consolidated Thompson. Now it’s paying for it.
Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources have plunged 32% so far this year, while Rio Tinto has fallen 7.7%, BHP Billiton has dropped 4.9% and Vale has declined 17%.
- [By Jayson Derrick]
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) has attempted to reach a good faith settlement with activist hedge fund Casablanca Capital by offering the fund two independent director seats at the board of directors. Casabalanca has other plans and is nominating six directors. Shares lost 2.43 percent, closing at $18.64.
5 Best Energy Stocks To Watch For 2014: Compliance Energy Corp (CEC)
Compliance Energy Corporation (Compliance) is an exploration and development company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral resource properties. Compliance’s main projects are its freehold coal holdings on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and four non-coal exploration properties on Vancouver Island. Through the Comox Joint Venture (CJV), CEC owns 60% of the Raven Underground Coal project. The Company’s main properties are its approximately 29,000 hectares of freehold coal and mineral interests and 2,046 hectares of Crown Coal licenses in the Comox Coal Basin on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Through the Comox Joint Venture agreement, Compliance owns 60% of interests and Itochu International and LG International own 20% respectively. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Lauren Pollock]
An affiliate of buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC(APO) agreed to purchase CEC Entertainment Inc.(CEC), the parent of Chuck E. Cheese’s, for about $950 million, following a review of the company’s strategic alternatives by CEC’s board. Apollo plans to pay $54 in cash per CEC share. Shares topped the offer price in premarket trading, rising 13% to $54.59.
- [By Hibah Yousuf]
CEC Entertainment, (CEC) the owner of Chuck E. Cheese, announced that private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO) was buying it for $1.3 billion.
- [By Lisa Levin]
CEC Entertainment (NYSE: CEC) surged 1.57% to $44.53. The volume of CEC Entertainment shares traded was 172% higher than normal. CEC Entertainment’s trailing-twelve-month ROE is 30.51%.
5 Best Energy Stocks To Watch For 2014: Transocean Ltd (RIGN.VX)
Transocean Ltd. (Transocean) is an international provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. The Company operates in two segments: contract drilling services and other operations. Contract drilling services, the Company’s primary business, includes contracting Transocean’s mobile offshore drilling fleet, related equipment and work crews primarily on a day rate basis to drill oil and gas wells. Its other operations segment includes drilling management services, and oil and gas properties. It participates in oil and gas exploration and production activities. In November 2010, it purchased a PPL Pacific Class 400 design High-Specification Jackup, which is under construction at PPL Shipyard Pte Ltd. in Singapore. Subsequent to the year ended December 31, 2010, it completed the sale of the High-Specification Jackup Trident 20. On October 4, 2011, the Company acquired, through Transocean Services AS, Aker Drilling ASA.
During 2010, the Company completed the sale of two Midwater Floaters, GSF Arctic II and GSF Arctic IV. As of February 10, 2011, Transocean owned, had partial ownership interests in or operated 138 mobile offshore drilling units. As of February 10, 2011, Transocean’s fleet consisted of 47 High-Specification Floaters (Ultra-Deepwater, Deepwater and Harsh Environment semisubmersibles and drillships), 25 Midwater Floaters, nine High-Specification Jackups, 54 Standard Jackups and three Other Rigs. In addition, the Company had one Ultra-Deepwater Floater and three High-Specification Jackups under construction. During 2010, the Company completed construction of five Ultra-Deepwater newbuilds, four of which have commenced their respective contracts. As of December 31, 2010, it held 50% interest in Transocean Pacific Drilling Inc. (TPDI), 65% interest in Angola Deepwater Drilling Company Limited (ADDCL) and a 50% interest in Overseas Drilling Limited (ODL).
Transocean principally operates three types of drilling rig! s: drill ships, semisubmersibles and jackups. Also included in its fleet are barge drilling rigs and a coring drillship. Its fleet includes High-Specification Floaters, which consists of the Company’s Ultra-Deepwater Floaters, Deepwater Floaters and Harsh Environment Floaters; Midwater Floaters, High-Specification Jackups, Standard Jackups and Other Rigs. High-Specification Floaters are specialized offshore drilling units that it categorizes into three sub-classifications. Ultra-Deepwater Floaters are equipped with high-pressure mud pumps and are capable of drilling in water depths of 7,500 feet or greater. Deepwater Floaters include other semisubmersible rigs and drillships capable of drilling in water depths between 7,200 and 4,500 feet. Harsh Environment Floaters are capable of drilling in harsh environments in water depths between 5,000 and 1,500 feet and have greater displacement, which offers variable load capacity, useable deck space and better motion characteristic s. Midwater Floaters consist of non-high-specification semisubmersibles that have a water depth capacity of less than 4,500 feet. High-Specification Jackups consist of its jackups, and Standard Jackups consist of the Company’s remaining jackup fleet.
As of February 10, 2011, Transocean’s fleet was located in the Far East (29 units), Middle East (17 units), West African countries other than Nigeria and Angola (16 units), United States Gulf of Mexico (14 units), United Kingdom North Sea (13 units), India (11 units), Brazil (10 units), Nigeria (seven units), Norway (five units), Angola (five units), the Mediterranean (three units), the Netherlands (three units), Australia (three units) and Canada (two units). As of February 10, 2011, its four rigs under construction included Deepwater Champion, Transocean Honor, High-Specification Jackup TBN1 and High-Specification Jackup TBN2. As of February 10, 2011, the Company’s Midwater Floaters included Sedco 700, Trans ocean Amirante, Transocean Legend, GSF Arctic I, C. Kirk Rhe! in, Jr. a! nd GSF Rig 135. As of February 10, 2011, its High-Specification Jackups included GSF Constellation I, GSF Constellation II, GSF Galaxy I, GSF Galaxy II, GSF Galaxy III and GSF Baltic. As of February 10, 2011, the Company’s Standard Jackups included Trident IX, GSF Adriatic II, GSF Adriatic IX, GSF Adriatic X, GSF Key Manhattan, GSF Key Singapore, GSF Adriatic VI and GSF Adriatic VIII.
Contract Drilling Services
Transocean’s primary business is to contract its drilling rigs, related equipment and work crews on a dayrate basis to drill oil and gas wells. Transocean’s contracts to provide offshore drilling services are individually negotiated and vary in their terms and provisions.
Drilling Management Services
The Company provides drilling management services primarily on a turnkey basis through Applied Drilling Technology Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, which primarily operates in the United States Gulf of Mexico, an d through ADT International, a division of one of its United Kingdom subsidiaries, which primarily operates in the North Sea (together, ADTI). ADTI provides oil and gas drilling management services on a dayrate basis or a completed-project, fixed-price (or turnkey) basis, as well as drilling engineering and drilling project management services. As part of its turnkey drilling services, the Company provides planning, engineering and management services. Under turnkey arrangements, it designs and executes of a well and delivers a logged or cased hole to an agreed depth. In addition to turnkey drilling services, Transocean participates in project management operations that include providing certain planning, management and engineering services, purchasing equipment and providing personnel and other logistical services to customers.
Transocean provides well and logistics services in addition to its normal drilling services through th ird party contractors and the Company’s employees. These o! ther serv! ices include integrated services. As of February 10, 2011, it was performing such services in India.
Oil and Gas Properties
The Company conducts oil and gas exploration, development and production activities through its oil and gas subsidiaries. It acquires interests in oil and gas properties principally in order to facilitate the awarding of turnkey contracts for Transocean’s drilling management services operations. The Company’s oil and gas activities are conducted through Challenger Minerals Inc. and Challenger Minerals (North Sea) Limited (together, CMI), which hold property interests primarily in the United States offshore Louisiana and Texas and in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea.
- [By Anna Prior]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Monday’s session are ViroPharma Inc.(VPHM), Transocean Ltd.(RIGN.VX) and Gogo Inc.(GOGO)