Entries by Simon Lack

Why Energy Transfer Cut Their Distribution

Energy Transfer’s (ET) 50% distribution cut announced late on Monday surprised most observers. Given the comfortable 1.4-1.5X DCF coverage this year and next, many felt that there was little pressure to reduce it. However, the persistently high yield (18% before the announcement), reflected widespread investor skepticism around its sustainability. Debt:EBITDA of 5X is higher than the prevailing 4-4.5X standard for investment grade names in the sector.   The […]

Hydrogen Lifts an LNG Company

Few would believe there’s a midstream energy infrastructure stock that’s tripled this year, but New Fortress Energy (NFE) has done just that. Happily, it’s a component in the American Energy Independence Index (AEITR). This year’s strong performance has NFE approaching a top ten position, since AEITR is market cap weighted.   NFE was founded in 2014 by Wes Edens, […]

Why MLP Fund Investors Should Care When They Change

MLPs have been losing relevance to the midstream energy infrastructure sector for years. The Shale Revolution caused them to evolve from reliable generators of income to growth-seeking enterprises. As upstream companies plowed money into drilling, pipeline companies felt compelled to add new infrastructure to service them. The capital spending spigot had already been ratcheted down since 2018, […]

Pipeline Technicals Turn Bullish

Although we rarely write about technical analysis, charts are helpful in showing visually where prices have come from. We also have a good number of clients who use charts to form investment opinions. This is especially true when it comes to changing portfolio allocations. Recently, bullish energy sector charts have come up in conversations. The […]

Natural Gas Prices Rise for Democrats

In recent weeks, 2021 natural gas have been quietly moving higher. November ’21 futures have rallied over 40 cents, to just under $3 per Thousand Cubic Feet (MCF). Covid and the election are both behind this. Research reports from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley both explore energy markets through the pandemic and likely policy changes […]

Pipeline Companies Should Buy More Stock

The energy sector has long been criticized for reinvesting too much capital back into its business, without ensuring that such investments exceed their cost of capital. No business can survive unless its return on investments is more than the cost of financing them. Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN) has an opportunity to demonstrate that they understand […]

Pipeline Buybacks and ESG Flexibility

Targa Resources, a perennial mis-allocator of capital, is not an obvious candidate to initiate a buyback program. Nonetheless they did on Monday, and the stock rose almost 11% on the news. In February last year, when Joe Bob Perkins was CEO, he responded to questions about their capex plans by arrogantly calling them “capital blessings.” […]

Trump’s Odds

The positive Presidential Covid test has provided plenty of material for the media. Trump’s known physical disposition is being compared with tables of statistics to assess his likely prognosis. The Financial Times noted that he is in the “vulnerable” population, and gave him 20% odds of requiring hospitalization with a 5% risk of death. Regardless […]

Devon Shows Occidental How To Buy

The merger between Devon (DVN) and WPX Energy (WPX) offers a marked contrast to Occidental’s (OXY) ill-fated acquisition of Anadarko. Synergies are coming from cost savings not revenue opportunities, a defensive move that will likely spur further consolidation. The annual savings of $575MM will cover the modest 2.6% premium paid by DVN in less than […]

The Smart Money In Pipelines

With pipeline stocks having their worst month since the depths of Covid-panic selling in March, investors are wondering when the smart money will finally respond to today’s extreme undervaluation and commit capital. Recent price action makes little sense, something that becomes very apparent in discussions with clients. 2Q20 earnings were as expected, and dividends unchanged. […]