We are far from despair...it's actually quite the opposite...I would argue the sell side is at greater risk.
The "shale boom" in both oil and natural gas has been blessed by a "liberal" administration despite all the hub bub the shorts rallied about last year. The shale boom can only exist via " fracking" and present day fracking means water fracking and water is used due to the fact is can not be compressed. Yes there are other means to frack but they pose no viable threat to market share because of the fundamental fact mentioned above. HEK's weakest link was the HEK legacy side of the business because of low natgas prices and PF/TFI were non-existent, that's when HEK was truly a speculation stock. Richard Heckmann pulled a very big rabbit out of the hat and took HEK from an almost 100% reliance on natgas fracking to a major presence in all the top shale plays and weighted to oil rather than natgas. However, natgas still represents 40% in fracking revs in a strong recovery. HEK is not subject to " global " economic concerns...earnings are all derived in the USA in the sector that has remained the strongest...and will get stronger with economic recovery.
Everyone wants to worry about PE's, and debt...to argue valuation...all I can say in response is to look at the chart and you can find plenty of times of higher valuation when real conditions were actually dire.
I'm of the opinion the company is more viable and less speculative than it has ever been and I'm also betting as they produce earnings......and they did surprise last qtr...that massive short position will have to cover at least proportional to PE improvement.
Don't get me wrong...I'll always maintain any stock is a risk long/short...I just maintain the scary days of owning HEK is further behind us......Natgas above $4...who was betting on that happening 9 nine months ago? Bring on the regulations...NUVERRA ...is primed, ready and waiting....Long, Strong, Patient