Entries by Simon Lack

Different Ways To Use Solar Power

As the world embraces more solar power, it turns out there are two competing visions – the traditional utility model of building solar farms for transmission to customers, and the distributed model where businesses and homes generate their own power using rooftop solar panels. One solution is likely to win, and today two highflying companies […]

Pipeline Earnings Should Confirm Growing Cash Flows

Earnings season for pipeline stocks begins on Wednesday 22nd, with Kinder Morgan (KMI) reporting after the market close. We expect the quarterly updates from the sector’s biggest companies will confirm the progress towards improved profitability (see Pipeline Cash Flows Will Still Double This Year). We’ll also hear from management teams how they regard the prospects for […]

Pipeline Opponents Help Free Cash Flow

Several major pipeline developments last week might well represent a key turning point in how the industry operates. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) acquired Dominion Energy’s natural gas pipeline and storage assets for an enterprise value of $9.7BN, which included BRK using $4BN of its cash pile. Although some estimated the price on the low side, Buffett […]

Energy Demand After Covid-19

Client meetings for many businesses have had to conform to local Covid-19 restrictions. Most of us have found that working remotely is fine, although I suspect it’ll become increasingly problematic in the months ahead. As Zoom calls suddenly became part of daily life, we were all chatting with people with whom we had recently shared […]

Revolutionary History Made Personal

History is about people, and personal connections always add interest. On hearing we’d be visiting Charleston, SC a good friend, Austin Sayre, suggested we stop by his family’s ancestral home. The Colonel John Stuart House is in Charleston’s historic district, where many of the homes have a plaque describing their former owner’s significance. Colonel Stuart […]

Dividends on Pipeline Stocks Remain High

Markets finished the strongest quarter sine 1987 yesterday, led by the energy sector. The American Energy Independence Index, which comprises North America’s biggest pipeline stocks, is still down 29% for the year. Some investors are weary of years of underperformance against the broader market, combined with high volatility. The volatility is largely a function of […]

Taking The Politics Out Of Covid-19

Covid-19 is probably the biggest political issue in America today. Liberals see a worsening situation in need of a slower return to normalcy requiring additional fiscal stimulus. Rising infections in Arizona, Texas and Florida provide plenty of quantitative support for this view. Conservatives reject this argument, presenting their own set of data. The restrictions on […]

Still Spreading, But Less Deadly

Covid-19 cases are rising, especially in the south. Three weeks ago, my wife and I headed to South Carolina and beyond, where restrictions were limited and nobody we met knew anyone who had gotten sick (see Having a Better Pandemic in Charleston, SC). Masks were scarce, inside dining was permitted and it seemed like the […]

Energy Markets Are Adapting Quickly

Coronavirus approached us like a distant wave earlier this year. Initially it was remote and unthreatening, as we viewed developments far away in Asia. But it soon engulfed us, making our lives unrecognizable and crushing economic activity everywhere. As the first wave recedes, individuals and businesses are adapting to the new normal, while contemplating a […]