Fish, I agree with you. they will find nothing in terms of manipulation. Everyone should just look at the other oil companies to see how they are valued. Companies with no or little earnings, ie. Quicksilver Resources, trade on the value of their Proven Reserves, while Exxon, Chevron, and even the lesser headliners trade on cash flow multiple and proven reserves. So, when production rises (cash flow increases) the stock is awarded a higher price. When a new discovery is made (proven reserves increase)the stock is awarded a higher price. Obviously, the reverse is also true concerning a production decline or a dry hole. In the last conference call, management refused to discuss "proven reserves" when asked by several of the analysts, and stated that cash flow was 2.04 per share. (this is confirmed if you read the filings) Management also said they were going to concentrate more on developing already proven fields and less on exploration (deferring GOM deep water to 2008) Two weeks ago I posted that I had re-taken a position in EPL because it is trading below 7 times cash flow, the metric generally used by the street to value a production company. I am guessing that production will increase and expences decline (increased cash flow!!) if they work on developing an existing field and back off exploration. Bottom line is the company is valued by the street by the numbers. There has been little change in the short position as a % over the last year. (in fact, it has declined slightly) Fish, congrats on TMA. that took guts. I made out a little on FCX because it dropped under 70, but nothing like TMA. Also, I have seen you post on the FBR board. I have taken a position in that one and would appreciate your thoughts. Lastly, I know some on this board won't like me going against the "conspiricy theory," but its my opinion that you need look no further than the people running the company to explain the stock price. I find the stock very attractive at 13, and I have put my money where my mouth is. Perhaps some of you should read the analysts reports by the various firms that cover EPL.
Without being insulting, tell me what you think Woodside saw in EPL to offer $24, and you know they would have gone higher. I think they saw reserves and an improving market over time for crude and nat gas and a stable production platform to the most important market in the world, the US. No transportation needs, crude or LNG tankers needed, nor unstable governments, and with EPL fields in the most promising and untapped areas of the continental US short of Alaska. This bean counting look at EPL almost obscures being able to see the forest for the trees.
My argument that EPL is being manipulated comes down to assets vs liabilities and the very real potential/probability for significant future discoveries. Without boring this board with the nitty and the gritty and the boring numbers of a bean counter, let me just say "the market"(the slimeballs and scumbags running trading programs that have never had a real job producing a widget or barrel of oil), whoever the Hell they are, has put a really bad discount price on EPL to known and proven reserves/assets. If Gordon Gekko can put up a website that might attract someone to rat out the scumbags manipulating EPL trading I applaud that.