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LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. Message Board

dkwilk 182 posts  |  Last Activity: 27 minutes ago Member since: Dec 22, 1997
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  • What date will the earnings come out ??? don

  • dkwilk dkwilk Apr 7, 2014 10:06 AM Flag

    Laclede is acquiring approx. 420,000 NG customers for 1.6 Billion $$, this gives you a value per customer of $ 3,809... don

  • The Laclede Group agreed on Monday to buy Energen’s natural gas utility in Alabama in a deal valued at about $1.6 billion, reaching the biggest takeover in its history and branching out from its home in eastern Missouri.



    With its purchase of the Alabama Gas Corporation, Laclede will own the biggest natural gas utility in the state. Its overall customer base will grow to 1.55 million customers from 1.13 million.

    Laclede is paying $1.28 billion in cash and assuming about $320 million in debt.

    Besides being the largest transaction in Laclede’s 157-year history, Monday’s takeover also marks a significant move by the gas company into the Southeast. The company said that the deal added important geographic diversity to its business, as well as a favorable regulatory regime.

    The acquisition is expected to add to Laclede’s net economic earnings per share beginning in the 2015 fiscal year, as well as helping to support dividend payouts to investors.

    “Alagasco is an excellent fit for Laclede, and allows us to leverage our combined scale, industry expertise and more than 150 years of experience to drive customer and shareholder value,” Suzanne Sitherwood, Laclede’s chief executive, said in a statement.

    Energen will use its after-tax proceeds, estimated at $1.1 billion, to reduce short-term debt and help it focus on developing its holdings in the Permian shale formation.

    Supporting the deal is $1.35 billion in bridge financing from Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo.

    The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the year, pending federal and state regulatory approval.

  • Dickinson press.. don
    WILLISTON — While the United States hasn’t seen a new refinery in more than 30 years, North Dakota has five refineries proposed that range from planning stages to active construction .


    Some of the projects have long been on the drawing board, but with MDU Resources constructing its refinery near Dickinson, the others could be closer to reality, said the head of North Dakota’s oil industry trade group.“Having one under construction is encouraging more third parties to look at it,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “I’m sure people are going to be watching that and trying to figure out if they can replicate that model. We’ll take them all.”

    North Dakota is expected to hit a milestone this year of producing 1 million barrels of oil per day, but refinery capacity is 68,000 barrels at the Tesoro refinery in Mandan, requiring the rest to be transported out of the state.
    Meanwhile, the state’s demand for diesel is about double what the Mandan refinery produces, and projected to keep climbing.

    Refining more crude oil in North Dakota means less oil will need leave the state by rail or pipeline.
    But the difference in transportation likely won’t be noticeable even if all five refineries are constructed, said Sandy Fielden, managing director of energy analytics at consultant firm RBN Energy.

    ‘Only in North Dakota’ Each refinery would process 20,000 barrels of oil per day, and the byproducts would still need to be transported for further refining. A unit train transports about 65,000 to 70,000 barrels of oil, with North Dakota currently sending about 10 unit trains out of the state each day.

    “These refineries are tiny. That’s a drop in the ocean compared to production,” Fielden said. “It’s not going to make much difference.”
    - Dickinson: MDU Resources and partner Calumet Specialty Products LP are constructing the Dakota Prairie Refinery between Dickinson and South Heart, projected to be online by the end of the y

  • I thought there was a line in the Sand.. from CNBC.. don
    Extra shipments head to India, sales strong to Syria

    * Iran may be drawing down oil stored on tankers

    LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - Iran's oil exports have stayed above levels allowed under Western sanctions for a fifth month, according to sources who track tanker movements, in a further sign that a deal to ease some restrictions is helping Tehran sell more crude.

    Under the deal, Iran's exports are supposed to be held at an average 1 million bpd for the six months to July 20. But shipments to Asia have topped that level at least since November, according to ship tracking data.

    The Obama adminstration believes that exports will fall in coming months and on average will fall to the 1 million bpd level stipulated by the interim agreement which went into effect on January 20.

    Iran's crude exports have averaged 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down from 1.4 million bpd in February, said one of the sources. That is still an elevated rate, as imports of Iranian oil in 2013 averaged 1.1 million bpd.

    A second tanker tracking source said Iranian crude exports, excluding to Japan, reached 1.28 million bpd in March and included sales to top buyers such as China and India as well as South Korea, Turkey and Tehran's major ally Syria. That points to steady Iranian shipments overall, he added.

    Syria is not one of the countries that Washington sanctions for taking Iranian oil.

    "Shipments to India stand out in March and it looks like there has been a slight increase which works out at around 326,000 bpd, up by around 14 percent from February," the source, who declined to be identified, said

  • dkwilk dkwilk Apr 5, 2014 5:26 PM Flag

    I see Berkshire is NOW selling real estate.I saw a Cable tv ad today
    Google Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.. don

  • dkwilk dkwilk Apr 5, 2014 5:23 PM Flag

    thanks for posting Jerry.... don

  • From todays Billings gazette. don
    HELENA — NorthWestern Energy’s proposed purchase of 12 hydro-electric dams in Montana could impose up to $800 million of excess costs on electric ratepayers the next 15 years, unless more risk is shifted to the company, a consumer expert says.

    John Wilson, an economist hired by the Montana Consumer Counsel to analyze the deal, said NorthWestern's claims that the purchase benefits customers are based on assumptions that may not come true, such as future “carbon taxes” and lower maintenance costs.

    If those assumptions are false — and Wilson said that’s entirely possible — customers will pay $600 million to $800 million more for electricity than if NorthWestern acquired it from a source other than buying the dams, he said.

    “This cost increase amounts to approximately $600 to $800 for every man, woman and child in Montana, and it is money that will be extracted from the state’s economy — not money that will be recirculated within Montana,” he wrote.
    Allowing NorthWestern to fold the entire purchase cost into rates “is a great profit opportunity for the company, as Montana consumers will be required to compensate (the company) for these costs … regardless of whether the acquisition turns out to be a good deal for ratepayers,” he added.

    Wilson, in written testimony submitted to the state Public Service Commission on March 28, said the costs for ratepayers could be lowered if NorthWestern accepts more risk, and he made several suggestions.
    A NorthWestern spokeswoman, however, said Friday the company stands by its analysis, which compared the costs of power from the dams to long-term costs of buying power on the open market.

    “We believe our assumptions are as well put-together as they could possibly be,” said Claudia Rapkoch. “Over the long term, this (purchase) is definitely in the best interests of our customers.”
    Rapkoch said while market prices may look good now, relying on them long-term has not been a good strategy

  • dkwilk dkwilk Apr 4, 2014 5:45 PM Flag

    it is my opinion that the worst of the sell off is in nasdaq.
    look at some of the high flyers and their P/E. and many have no E
    This sucked down the S+P and dow..
    if we had normalized 10 yr treasuries ( 4-5 % ) how much would the stock market tank..
    Jerry I believe if you look at your reply you have answered your own question..
    Also remember that traders are different then investors.. and traders like a good amount of volatility.. don

  • dkwilk dkwilk Apr 4, 2014 3:41 PM Flag

    I look at the articles, Jerry.. if interested, then I go and gogle the entire piece.... don

  • Reply to

    Black Hills Power proposes Rate Hike

    by dkwilk Apr 1, 2014 9:48 AM
    dkwilk dkwilk Apr 4, 2014 1:02 PM Flag

    Skip. look in the Casper Trib ,on the coal plant closures..don

  • Reply to

    EIA NG in storage numbers

    by dkwilk Mar 29, 2014 11:08 AM
    dkwilk dkwilk Apr 4, 2014 1:01 PM Flag

    Part of the Reason I bring this up is I Think WBI receives a FEE for injection , and a FEE for storage, and another FEE when the companies NG is taken from Storage.. I realize it maybe a marginal $$ amount , but the total Cubic ft is a huge Number..
    Can anyone verify or address this FEE situation
    TIA .. don

  • As a MDU customer I know that the 1st qtr sales in ND for Elec and NG will be strong.. These temp figures are right from the MDU monthly bill.
    Jan 2014 was a yo -yo temp wise in SW ND, we had 9 days when the overnight low temp was colder then 0, but we also had 4 days of day time high temps over 42. Feburary was colder, with 16 days with 0 or colder overnight lows. and March had 3 days with 0 or colder.
    from the mdu billing for Jan 2014 States that the average regional temp was 4 degrees warmer then the same period of 2013
    The feb billing temps were 9 degrees Colder then 2013, and the march temps were 4 degrees colder then same period of 2013.
    After snow storm Xenia we have approx. 10 inches of snow on the ground in SW ND. don

  • from rapid city paper today. don
    More than 66,000 customers could see their rates increase under a request Black Hills Power filed Monday with the state Public Utilities Commission.

    If approved, the monthly bill of the average residential customer — a household that uses about 650 kilowatt hours per month — will rise by about 13 percent after Oct. 1.
    For a typical household, that translates to around an extra $130 per year.

    The rate hike would be the second in two years for BHP customers if approved by the PUC.

    On Oct. 1, 2013, rates were increased by an average of 6.4 percent after the company originally sought a 9.9 percent increase.
    Vance Crocker, vice president of operations for the utility, said the most recent rate request is necessary to comply with federal regulations on coal-fired power plants and to recoup the cost of damage from the October blizzard that caused power outages throughout the Black Hills
    "We understand that this increasing cost is going to be a challenge for customers," he said.

    In total, Black Hills Power is looking to raise about $14.6 million in extra revenue each year. Over the next five years, about 5 percent of that sum will cover blizzard damage and 95 percent will cover costs relating to the new environmental regulations.
    Crocker said his company needs to pass on the cost of the blizzard to customers since it didn't have insurance to cover the storm damages.

    He said his company could have insured itself, but it chose not to because its long-term analysis had shown it was less expensive for customers to pay for the cost after a major disaster rather than for those same customers to pay higher rates to pay for insurance.
    "So the low-cost alternative is to not carry that insurance," he said.

    However, Crocker said, the overwhelming majority of revenue from the proposed rate hike is intended to cover the cost of replacing three coal-fired power plants.
    Crocker said those three plants, which have served the Black Hills for more t

  • Reply to

    Where Will Natural Gas Prices Go? Look to the Rigs

    by dkwilk Mar 29, 2014 1:10 PM
    dkwilk dkwilk Mar 29, 2014 1:10 PM Flag

    part 2
    “If we don’t see an increase in rigs it’s only going to lead to more reasons for higher prices,” analyst Jim Ritterbusch said.

    Others are watching rig counts for the opposite reason. If producers see prices at above $4.50 as a reason to jump back into less profitable gas drilling areas like the Haynesville and Fayetteville shales, it could lead to a supply glut, said Ryan Smith, energy analyst with Bentek Energy in Denver.

    “We’re watching [the count] very closely,” Mr. Smith said.

    The rig count isn’t the only factor at play in the gas market. A mild summer and high energy prices could dampen consumer demand. Bentek and ICF think about 3.6 trillion cubic feet will be enough to avoid a price spike next winter.

    Technology has also vastly improved what each rig can produce, so fewer rigs may be needed. There’s also still a backlog of previously drilled wells waiting to come online. New pipelines in the northeast could lead to an additional 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas coming onto the market between April and November even without any other rigs going into the ground, Mr. Smith said.

    “Every rig does matter, especially with the amount of production brought online for each well drilled,” Mr. Petak said. “Having said that, I think watching the rig count is only one part of the puzzle, so to speak.”

  • from WSJ article
    —Bloomberg
    Natural-gas traders are returning to a neglected data point to predict where prices will head next: the weekly rig count.

    The count — a survey of the number of rigs drilling for gas released each Friday by oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Inc.BHI +2.63% — is key to estimating U.S. production. This winter, the rig count played second fiddle to weather reports, as freezing temperatures sent gas demand — and prices — sharply higher.

    But now, with gas stockpiles at an 11-year low, the count is a key part of the analyst’s arsenal once again. Gas producers typically replenish inventories each spring, when mild temperatures keep demand down. If producers can’t refill storage by next winter, gas prices could rise. Gas for May delivery ended Friday at $4.485, up 4% this week though down from above $6 in February.

    This Friday’s Baker Hughes count shows gas drillers operated 318 rigs, compared to 326 a week earlier and 389 a year ago.

    That’s a concern for some traders who question whether drillers can replenish supplies by November, when heating demand begins to pick up. The country would need to see a 10 to 15 percent increase in rigs operating this summer to get storage levels to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by November, about where it’s been entering previous winters, said Kevin Petak, vice president of fuel markets analysis for ICF International Inc.ICFI -0.89% The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported 896 bcf in stockpile as of Thursday

  • Reply to

    EIA NG in storage numbers

    by dkwilk Mar 29, 2014 11:08 AM
    dkwilk dkwilk Mar 29, 2014 11:15 AM Flag

    I wonder how high the price of NG will go this summer, after a cold winter it could be a HOT summer. don

  • from EIA weekly announcement. don

    Working gas in storage was 896 Bcf as of Friday, March 21, 2014, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decline of 57 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 899 Bcf less than last year at this time and 926 Bcf below the 5-year average of 1,822 Bcf. In the East Region, stocks were 419 Bcf below the 5-year average following net withdrawals of 39 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region were 378 Bcf below the 5-year average of 754 Bcf after a net withdrawal of 15 Bcf. Stocks in the West Region were 129 Bcf below the 5-year average after a net drawdown of 3 Bcf. At 896 Bcf, total working gas is below the 5-year historical range

  • Steffes corp. is located on hwy 22 south edge of Dickinson ND.. don

    Copy from todays Dickinson press

    Steffes Corp. has announced the sale of its oil tank division in Dickinson to an Ohio company, according to a release sent out Friday afternoon.

    The sale was made to Worthington Industries, a leading diversified metal processing company with annual sales of approximately $2.6 billion headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Worthington operates 83 facilities in 12 countries, according to the release.

    The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Reply to

    Wal-Mart

    by jerrykrause Mar 28, 2014 4:08 PM
    dkwilk dkwilk Mar 28, 2014 6:14 PM Flag

    This is how the Walmart Store in Dickinson has been for the last 3 years.. Go down Most any Food isle and there will be a 40inch X 48 inch pallet full od cases of soup, or vegetables or what ever, and No one around off loading to the shelves.. Almost like they had no space left to put it so they shoved it there..
    Come back thru the same isle 20 minutes later nothing has changed..
    I somewhat assumed it was because of the oil boom, and NO help, I do not know what they pay in Wal mart but the fast food places in Dickinson have had signs posted for $ 15.00 per hr and a signing bonus..
    Dickinson is 80 miles one way, so if I go there it is twice a year..the next closest walmart is in Miles city Mt, 120 miles away.. do not miss either one..

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