The rally in energy stocks has lifted ExxonMobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) almost equally during the past three months. Argus Research, however, is only downgrading one.
Argus analyst Michael Burke explains why he downgraded Chevron:
We are lowering our rating on Chevron Corp. to HOLD from BUY as the stock has approached our $130 price target. [Chevron] shares have performed well over the last three months, with a total return of 16%, compared to a 5% gain for the S&P 500. We believe that the stock is trading near fair value following this run-up and see few positive catalysts in the near term. Although Chevron has several promising new projects, we do not expect them to contribute meaningfully to production until 4Q14. We also note that the increased capital spending has led to higher debt and significantly lower free cash flow. In 1Q14, trailing 12-month free cash flow came in at negative $484 million, down from positive $2.9 billion a year earlier and well below the all-time high of $14.6 billion in 2011.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: Monolithic Power Systems Inc.(MPWR)
Monolithic Power Systems, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, designs, develops, and markets analog and mixed-signal semiconductors. It offers direct current (DC) to DC converter integrated circuits (IC) that are used to convert and control voltages of various electronic systems, such as portable electronic devices, wireless LAN access points, computers, set top boxes, televisions and monitors, automobiles, and medical equipments. The company also provides lighting control ICs for use in systems that offer the light source for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in notebook computers, LCD monitors, car navigational systems, and LCD televisions. In addition, it provides audio amplifier ICs to amplify sound produced by audio processors; and Class-D audio amplifiers for plasma televisions, LCD televisions, and digital versatile disk players. The company serves consumer electronics, communications, and computing markets. Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. sells its products thr ough third party distributors and value-added resellers, as well as directly to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, and electronic manufacturing service providers. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.
- [By Eric Volkman]
McDonald is a veteran CFO, having served in that position for a number of tech companies including eASIC, Advanced Analogic Technologies, and Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR ) .
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Monolithic Power Systems (Nasdaq: MPWR ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: MPWR) has a diverse market that includes communications, gaming and computing to continue to drive its growth, all markets that will pay a premium for its technology. The list of tech companies that use its chips is impressive. Deutsche Bank has a $30 target, the same as the consensus target.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: World Energy Solutions Inc(DE)
World Energy Solutions, Inc. provides a range of energy management solutions to commercial and industrial businesses, institutions, utilities, and governments. It offers technology-enabled solutions, such as online audits of facilities to identify retrofit options and project management services for retrofit implementation, as well as cross-selling opportunities for commodity auctions. The company primarily focuses on retail and wholesale energy procurement clients via its online auction platforms, including the World Energy Exchange, the World Green Exchange, and the World DR Exchange. The World Energy Exchange enables energy consumers in North America to negotiate for the purchase or sale of electricity, natural gas, and other energy resources from energy suppliers who have agreed to participate on auction platform. The World Green Exchange enables buyers and sellers to negotiate for the purchase or sale of environmental commodities, such as renewable energy certificates , verified emissions reductions, and certified emissions reductions. The World DR Exchange enables curtailment service providers and energy consumers to negotiate in structured auction events designed to yield price transparency. The company was formerly known as World Energy Exchange, Inc. World Energy Solutions, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- [By Rich Bieglmeier]
[Related -Deere & Company (DE) Q3 Earnings Preview: Nothing Runs Backwards Like A Deere]
Deere & Company operates in three segments: agriculture and turf, construction and forestry and financial services.
- [By Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach]
Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Wednesday’s session are Kate Spade Co.(KATE), Deere(DE) & Co. and Fossil Group Inc.(FOSL)
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: Tesoro Logistics LP(TLLP)
Tesoro Logistics LP engages in the ownership, operation, development, and acquisition of crude oil and refined products logistics assets in the United States. The company is involved in the gathering, terminalling, transportation, and storage of crude oil and refined products. Its assets consist of a crude oil gathering system in the Bakken Shale/Williston Basin area of North Dakota and Montana; eight refined products terminals in the midwestern and western United States; a crude oil and refined products storage facility; and five related short-haul pipelines. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in San Antonio, Texas. Tesoro Logistics LP is a subsidiary of Tesoro Corporation.
- [By Robert Rapier]
RRMS didn’t see the same kind of price surge in 2013 as ACMP, so offers a more generous annualized yield of 5.2 percent. RRMS also has a lower total debt/equity (mrq), at 22 percent versus ACMP’s 71 percent. For Q3 2013, RRMS reported $15.4 million in adjusted EBITDA, a year-over-year increase of 65 percent. In comparison, adjusted EBITDA for the 2013 third quarter totaled $227 million for ACMP, an increase of 90 percent year-over-year.
Tesoro Logistics (NYSE: TLLP) was spun off by the refiner Tesoro (NYSE: TSO) in 2011 to operate pipelines leading to and from its plants. TLLP’s assets consist of a crude oil gathering system in the Williston Basin area of North Dakota and Montana, 17 refined product and storage terminals, three dedicated storage facilities, four California marine terminals, a rail unloading facility, and a petroleum coke handling facility.
Distributions have grown steadily since the IPO, from $1.35 per unit (annualized) in Q2 2011 to the current annualized level of $2.18/unit. At a current unit price of $53.49, TLLP is well off its 52-week high of $71.92. Distributions have increased each quarter since the IPO, and units currently have a yield of 4.2 percent. But investors should be wary given that TLLP is highly leveraged. Its total debt/equity (mrq) is nearly 400 percent, much higher than most competitors.
Of the three MLPs — ACMP, RRMS and TLLP — RRMS looks best at the moment with the least downside risk. It is by far the least-leveraged, didn’t have a huge run-up in 2013 that depressed its yield, and it has managed to steadily grow revenues and distributions since its IPO.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Yesterday, Tesoro Corp. (TSO) sold a bunch of assets to Tesoro Logistics (TLLP) for $650 million, the second “drop-down,” or sale of assets by a parent company to a partnership.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Tesoro Logistics LP(TLLP), a company spun off in 2011 by oil refiner Tesoro Corp.(TSO), agreed to pay its former parent $650 million to acquire Los Angeles assets that include two marine terminals and a pipeline system.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: Transcananda Pipelines Ltd.(TRP)
Transcanada Corporation operates as an energy infrastructure company in North America. The company operates in three segments: Natural Gas Pipelines, Oil Pipelines, and Energy. The Natural Gas Pipelines segment develops and operates energy infrastructure, including natural gas pipelines and regulated gas storage facilities. Its network of natural gas pipelines extends approximately 60,000 km tapping into gas supply basins in North America. The Oil Pipelines segment operates Keystone crude oil pipeline system, which includes completed 3,467 km Wood River/Patoka and Cushing Extension phases, and the proposed 2,673 km U.S. Gulf Coast Expansion. The Energy segment engages in the acquisition, development, construction, ownership, and operation of electrical power generation plants; the purchase and marketing of electricity; the provision of electricity account services to energy and industrial customers; and the development, construction, ownership, and operation of non-regulat ed natural gas storage in Alberta. The company was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.
- [By Robert Rapier]
Of course Canada will build its own additional pipelines to the coast. TransCanada (NYSE: TRP) — the company behind Keystone XL — is planning a 4,500-kilometer Energy East pipeline that would carry 1.1-million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada. This project alone would be nearly 50 percent larger than the Keystone XL, and will almost certainly get built. The project involves converting an existing natural gas pipeline to an oil transportation pipeline, constructing new pipelines to link up with the converted pipeline, and then building the associated facilities required to move crude oil from Alberta to Quebec and New Brunswick. This pipeline is expected to be in service to Quebec by 2017 and to New Brunswick by 2018. A recent open season for the project received over 900,000 bpd in shipping commitments for 20 years.
- [By Vanina Egea]
Few projects carried forward by the oil and gas industry in the US have elicited such stronger reaction from the public as Keystone XL. Criticized by environmentalists and indigenous peoples, supported by conservative politicians and representative of the states involved, the project has not been able to secure favorable legislation yet. Most important, recent tar sand spills gave the public a chance to organize and form a united front to oppose the proposed project. Currently, the project counts with Canadian blessing and waits for the same to occur on the other side of the frontier. Meanwhile, TransCanada (TRP) argues the new pipeline will be constructed with the highest safeguards in mind. The delay, however, has impacted over market performance and an ebb on stock value increases can be seen through the last year.
- [By Ben Rooney]
TransCanada (TRP), which builds pipelines and other energy infrastructure, was down 3% Monday after the U.S. again push back a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
- [By Dimitra DeFotis]
The crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s tactics make U.S. assets look more secure and more valuable: some U.S. refiners that could export fuel, utility holding companies that could export liquefied natural gas, and related pipeline companies could see even more benefits, longer-term, from the North American fracking and horizontal drilling boom. But approval of the TransCanada (TRP) Keystone XL pipeline is a necessary piece of that equation, Adams writes.
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: QCR Holdings Inc.(QCRH)
QCR Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides commercial and consumer banking, and trust and asset management services for the Quad City, Cedar Rapids, and Rockford communities. The company accepts deposits and invests in loans/leases and securities. Its deposit products comprise interest bearing deposits, non-interest bearing and interest bearing demand deposits, savings deposits, time deposits, and brokered time deposits. The company also offers a range of commercial and retail lending and investment services to corporations, partnerships, individuals, and government agencies. Its loan portfolio comprises commercial loans, including loans to wholesalers, manufacturers, building contractors, business services companies, other banks, and retailers; business loans, which include lines of credit for working capital and operational purposes; term loans for the acquisition of facilities, equipment, and other purposes; commercial real estate loans; and consumer loans c omprising motor vehicle, home improvement, home equity, and signature loans, as well as small personal credit lines. In addition, the company engages in the direct financing lease contracts; holding the real estate property; and issuing various trust preferred securities. QCR Holdings was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Moline, Illinois.
- [By Tim Melvin]
QCR Holdings (QCRH) is another bank that has consistently had a lower return on assets than its peer group. The Illinois based bank has 9 offices and about $2.4 billion in total assets. The bank has an equity-to-assets ratio of just 7.4, which is well below the national average. The Illinois market has seen strong merger and acquisition activity in the past year, and this bank could become a target .
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: Norwood Financial Corp.(NWFL)
Norwood Financial Corp. operates as the holding company for the Wayne Bank, which provides various commercial banking products and services to individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and municipalities in Pennsylvania. The company?s various deposit products include interest-bearing and noninterest bearing transaction accounts, statement savings and money market accounts, and certificate of deposits. Its loan products comprise mortgage loans to finance principal residences, as well as second home dwellings; commercial loans, including lines of credit, revolving credit, term loans, mortgages, secured lending, and letter of credit facilities; construction loans for commercial construction and single-family residences; and indirect dealer financing of new and used automobiles, boats, and recreational vehicles. The company also offers various other services, such as cash management, direct deposit, remote deposit capture, automated clearing house activity, credit ser vices, trust, investment products, real estate settlement services, and Internet banking. It operates five offices in Wayne County, three offices in Pike County, and three offices in Monroe County, and also serves Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties. The company operates eleven automated teller machines in its branch locations. Norwood Financial Corp. was founded in 1870 and is headquartered in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Bank holding company Norwood Financial (NWFL) raised its quarterly dividend 7.1% to 30 cents per share, payable on Feb. 3 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 15.
NWFL Dividend Yield: 4.39%
Hot International Companies To Buy Right Now: AsiaInfo-Linkage Inc.(ASIA)
AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. provides telecommunications software solutions and information technology (IT) products and services to telecommunications carriers and other enterprises in the People?s Republic of China. The company offers business and operation support systems product suites, including OpenBilling, a billing solution for telecommunications operators; OpenCRM, a CRM solution suite for telecommunications operators; OpenBOSS, a carrier-class business operation support system solution; OpenBI, a carrier-class operating analysis and decision support system platform; OpenPRM, a system that calculates, manages, and reconciles payment for intercarrier network access. It also provides network management solutions comprising NetXpert, a data and Internet protocol network management solution; and OpenXpert, an integrated telecommunications network management system. In addition, the company offers service applications products, such as Mail Center, an online messaging softwa re; Spam Patrol software for real time anti-spam control; and Net Disk, a network hard disk product, which facilitates Internet-based file transfer, sharing, and management, as well as supports other functions, such as data processing of short message folders and synchronization of mobile devices. Its service applications products also include Internet Short Messaging Gateway, a business support platform for value-added short messaging services; and Device Management Platform that enables mobile operators to manage various mobile devices and perform remote mobile device management, such as remote diagnosis and parameter setup. In addition, it offers software enhancement and maintenance, system integration, and other value-added IT consulting and planning services. The company was formerly known as AsiaInfo Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. in July 2010. AsiaInfo-Linkage, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People?s Repub l ic of China.
- [By Bloomberg News]
“The prospects of Chinese equities are positive for the long-term, but near-term there are some execution risks with regard to implementing reforms,” said Teresa Chow, a Hong Kong-based money manager who helps oversee about $1.5 billion at RBC Investment (Asia) Ltd. “Mainland investors seem to have more reasonable expectations.”
- [By Kana Nishizawa]
“The market is still optimistic about the detailed reform plan”, said Teresa Chow, a fund manager at RBC Investment (Asia) Ltd., which oversees $1.5 billion. “Since Hong Kong and China markets are underweighted by many fund managers, some of them might want to increase their weighting.”
- [By Rajhkumar K Shaaw]
BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) Ltd., Macquarie Capital Securities (India) Pvt. and Ambit Capital Pvt. cut their Sensex targets as the Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly increased its benchmark interest rate to stem a record decline in the rupee and curb consumer prices in the world’s second-most populous nation. Strategists reduced their average profit estimate by 4.5 percent as higher borrowing costs threaten to worsen the slowest economic expansion since 2009.