Overly myopic investors/creditors will continue to be confident in various drillers, based on the numbers of initial production (IP) data extrapolations and balance sheets, but will in the near future spend sleepless nights wondering why such good IPs and strong balance sheets produces poor or no profits and/or why they do not fully receive the money lent. Their worries will gradually morph from being focused on return on investment to return of investment. The mysteries created by Nature’s lack of cooperation with the balance sheets will surpass any other existential questions.
Yesterday it was US and Italian energy giants Chevron and Saipem which announced a total of over 10,000 new job cuts in the aftermath of oil sliding back under $50 and resuming its downward trend. Today, we got more confirmation of this when Royal Dutch Shell, still basking in the glow of its proposed $70 billion mega-acquisition of BG Group, announced it would axe 6,500 jobs this year and step up spending cuts, responding to an extended period of lower oil prices which contributed to a 37 percent drop in the oil and gas group's second-quarter profits.
If one excludes the gargantuan April merger between Shell and the BG Group, Q2 M&A activity was the slowest in since 2008! If the price of oil continues to decline, one can be certain that Q3 M&A activity will be a dead zone. And since with the exception of just one mega-deal, the merger and acquisition landscape has hit a brick wall, one needs no explanation to understand just how "market participants view future opportunities."
Einhorn just found his next target: U.S. onshore E&Ps or the oil fracking companies.
In reviewing the financials of one of the largest shale producers in the United States, Whiting Petroleum, we can’t help but notice the parallels to the .COM era of 1999 which, to some extent, has already returned to the technology and biotech sectors of today.
One must understand that the easy money via QE from the Fed and zero interest rates allowed many shale players to burn free cash flow while showing operationally net of capital expenditures (which were funded by cheap flowing monies via FED) cash generation. To be clear, that model is now broken as the era of free Fed money appears to waning as both QE, and soon, zero rates become a thing of the past. The cost of capital is no longer falling but is now rising through higher bond yields and/or lower stock prices. The madness that is occurring in financial markets on discounting these events despite very weak, almost recessionary economics, boggles the mind.
- ECB Tells Greek Banks Not to Boost Exposure to Athens Government’s Debt (WSJ)
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- Flight Recorders Offer Best Hope of Explaining Jet’s Fatal Drop (BBG)
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- In Nigeria, Oil Price’s Slide Deters Theft (WSJ)
- Saudi Arabia building up military near Yemen border (Reuters)
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- Executive Pensions Are Swelling at Top Companies (WSJ)
- Germanwings Airbus crashes in France, 148 feared dead (Reuters)
- Greece promises list of reforms by Monday to unlock cash (Reuters)
- Merkel Points Tsipras Toward Deal With Greece’s Creditors (BBG)
- Banks Shift Bond Portfolios -Move to ‘held to maturity’ category aims to guard against rising rates, shield capital (WSJ)
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- As Silence Falls on Chicago Trading Pits, a Working-Class Portal Also Closes (NYT)
- Oil below $56 as Saudi output near record, China activity slows (Reuters)
There Goes The Shale M&A Bid - Whiting Petroleum Finds 'No Buyer', Forced To Issue Massive SecondarySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/23/2015 17:54 -0400
TINA - There Is No Alternative... except when it comes to energy stocks. Having been exuberantly chased brioefly after announcing it was looking for a buyer - fueling further excitement about a low-oil-price-driven Shale firm M&A boom - Whiting Petroleum appears to have found no buyer as it prepares for a massive 35 million share secondary dilution (and almost $2bn of new debt). We wonder - have they tried Kickstarter?
Our views on some of the popular oil-market related topics including Saudi, 'Fracklog', E&P Funding Crisis, Dividend Cut by XOM? and final thought on Merit of the Integrated Model
Whiting Petroleum - the largest oil producer in the Bakken shale formation - has caught some investors' (and TV talking heads) eyes this morning as it has jumped over 11% on speculation that its decision to put itself up for sale - as a "motivated" seller - somehow means the collapse in the share price will be reversed by some greater fool who sees "synergies." We wonder though... who exactly is going to buy this company that trades at a 1043x Forward P/E?
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- BP slashes capital spending by 20% (FT)
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Over a month ago we presented a ranking of "America's most levered energy companies." Since then they have all, without exception gotten clobbered, not only in their publicly traded stock but also their debt. Today, long after the liquidation whirlwind has left junk bond owners dazed and confused, Goldman catches up, and lays out a matrix of shale companies sorted not only by leveraged (they see 2.5x as the cutoff; we used 4.0x) but also by shale asset quality. From there, it also lays out the various opportunities, if any, available to the management teams in the resultant 4 quadrants. Readers will be most interested in the "restructuring/bankruptcy" option, most applicable for Group 4, because these are the names which, all else equal, will file for bankruptcy first.
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