Hempton had it right. IOC was a stock that made everyone look dumb- longs and shorts.
I think my first post in Nov 2009 IOC was $45. Now it's gone around the same price. Lots of fun along the way.
I don't follow IOC much but I do feel some nostalgia.
FWIW I think the deal is done, and think it's not bad under the circumstances (the circumstances being that Hession trashed IOC's balance sheet, lost all bargaining power, and now sells out just as energy seems to be inflecting back up).
What now post IOC? It would be a shame for the crew not to stay together. Heck maybe we can all go long something together?
Hession is an incompetent tool, except when it comes to negotiating employment agreements, no doubt.
However, he can't be saddled with much of the drop on the Total announcement. It was Mulacek that consistently touted huge per mcf deal figures, including blatently lying about a $7 figure ("yes sir!" - remember that?).
Before the deal I expended much energy arguing with Tibbs and others based on actual deal comps that a deal would be much lower (including the Anadarko Mozambique deal, and many others). The actual deal was right in the strike zone.
So a lot of the stuffing coming out of IOC was just bridging Phil's delusions and/or lies, and reality. No doubt Hession picked up the value destruction baton with gusto.
Big lesson is don't invest in management that isn't trustworth, or incompetent. Ever. Lots of other risks out there without stacking the deck against yourself by investing in bad management.
This asset could have been proven up and production tested (remember those debates - now they have done it) 5 years ago and sold off.
Truly a shame. THE problem now is the balance sheet. Hession has blown the nest egg and how he handles that will be fun to watch. Running to OSH and merging without a premium could be the least bad alternative.
My conclusion is Phil and Hession are both buffoons but in different ways.
IMHO Phil acted and behaved like a #$%$. Pumping garbage wells in the early days and so on, by the time E/A came along nobody believed him and he was a well-deserved target for short sellers. His crazy schemes with Flex LNG and other nonsense made it worse. The lawsuit in Singapore about Phil and Carlo's private jet being paid by IOC secretly probably just the tip of the iceberg. I think Phil is a #$%$. However, it appears, especially now, that he believed IOC was worth a lot. So much so, apparently, that he scuttled every orthodox plan for the sake of his riverboat fantasies. A fool, but despite the kleptocracy he ran was at least partial aligned with shareholders.
Hession, frankly, seems to be just an incompetent tool. It's not his fault oil is in the tank, but how he reacted is unforgivable. After the Total deal, IOC's greatest strength was the balance sheet. They could have survived many more years on that waiting out the market. Instead, he blows upwards of a billion dollars - practically frittered away. Now the company is weak and vulnerable. A merger with OSH is quite possible with Hession the
fool taking over for Botten.