The old saw on Wall St. is to pay close attention when a downtrodden stock starts to ignore the bad news. That said, two theories on the lack of volume. 1. The news is not really a surprise, not a change at the margin from what has been happening here for many quarters and years. Project delays are part of the "new normal" for this company. A stock price-moving event that would be a surprise would be if the company reported a few consecutive quarters WITHOUT any project delays. 2. Investors may be loathe to sell off record backlog and a record pace of bookings. So, if revenues are roughly $2 million short incrementally of expectations for fiscal 2015 Q1, but you pick up $10 million in backlog as well as likely recover the $2 million revenue lost due primarily to timing throughout the remainder of fiscal 2015, maybe that is not perceived as a bad tradeoff. I would add a third theory that perhaps this is the last of the bad news, and you should always buy on the last of the bad news--- but I am still from Missouri on that one. The cockroach effect is well-known but has been in place here for a long time already. Maybe you don't rush up the hill and run headlong into the gunfire to be a hero, but you also don't want to be the schmuk that gets suckered and sells at the bottom before an inflection point either. A pat hand seems not unreasonable. That is what you are seeing.
Even granting your point, the company has hinted it is exploring the prospects of diversification organically and externally outside the auto sector. It is possibly going to retain cash for that endeavor. We will see. Right now the bigger problem for them is the variability in its customers' ordering and installation schedules, and by association, delivering consistently on quarterly earnings.
A stock buyback makes sense, but probably at a level closer to Book Value. Rarely is a company worth more than the net value of its assets, until it demonstrates those assets can generate a consistently profitable level of return. This company has not done that yet.
BTW, the reason "engineering" an oil price that low so as to drive out the shale producers and regain market control gets tricky for the Saudis is because--- they have to induce a belief prices will remain below a threshold to produce profitably via fracking for a very long time. In doing so they could put countries like Russia, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Libya and a couple more Middle Eastern entities on the brink of systemic default. If that is correct, the stock market focus will soon shift from worries about European recession and a China slowdown to a possible collapse of some major oil exporting countries.
Dayrates will be most directly impacted by the price of oil (as well as tax regimes among other variables). Yes, the company does field de-commonissioning work, but if the price of oil goes so low that many other floaters are stacked, could they flood the market looking for such work as well?
In the past the Saudis have been the swing producer setting the price of oil w/the marginal barrel. If that is a role they want to resume, as many believe, they will have to back out the current swing producer which is shale oil in North America. To drive those fracking producers from the market probably requires setting the price somewhere below $60-$65/bbl. for a longer period of time to encourage a majority of such projects are abandoned. Those projects won't be abandoned on just the first blip below $65 because it will be seen as a "technical bottom", a momentary event from which prices will quickly rebound. Moreover, producers will want to recover their sunk costs at a minimum. So they will keep producing for a while. There will have to be the clear "sense" oil will remain at such low levels for the foreseeable future. What that in turn means for how low dayrates could go I cannot estimate. It is possible, however, we are seeing a sea-change or paradigm shift for the price of oil that could last the better part of a decade or more. These things tend to move in very long cycles. The end game for the Saudis is a sustainable price in the $80-$90/bbl area where they are again the swing producer, w/ all the geopolitical clout that goes with it, but it may take a lot of pain to get there. It also raises the specter of deflation as oil price still runs through most parts of the global economy, and that is something no one wants. $80-$90/bbl makes the most sense and can still fund Saudi infrastructure plans, and cash needs to satisfy its local population (promises made after the "Arab Spring" to placate the masses). Getting there is the tricky part.
Don't really know the ins and outs of their industrial hygiene ops. or if anything is or could potentially be ebola related or not. That is a question for the next CC for sure. The company's business is to clean-up hazardous and contaminated waste, that is their expertise. I do know the plane that traveled from Ohio to Texas w/the second ebola victim has been sanitized twice according to the network news. That is a move beyond just cleaning up and decontaminating the residences where the victims lived. If PESI is not involved as yet, they should be making contacts immediately if they have any capability in such regard at all. What radioactive waste and ebola obviously have in common is that they are deadly, require significant expertise to de-contontaminate, and are an immediate threat to the common good.The 10K within the company's Service Segment under industrial hygiene makes reference to industrial hygiene exposure monitoring,health risk and exposure assessments, health and safety plan developments. I suppose much would depend on if there was an actual larger outbreak and how far into the infrastructure it made itself felt.
A year can go by pretty quickly, especially as you get older, Ha! I just say that remembering a company in which I invested saying they had a couple years to resolve their debt situation. It went by really quick. They didn't resolve it. I lost a ton.
make that probable not possible, and you will be more on the mark. Have you seen the data out of Germany?
Right now they are cleaning and sanitizing (in a very sophisticated way) the residences of those few who have been infected. At some point you probably have to consider the industrial workplace as well, both in a preventative and remedial sense. You know you are probably getting only half the story from the government as to what the real situation is here that is evolving. The stock market is truth. And it is speaking volumes as to what the "Clear and Present Danger" could ultimately be.
Forget the options. Those things usually vest incrementally over a long period of usually three-to-five years. Even then they don't amount to much after-tax unless the stock like triples or better relative to the exercise price of the underlying options. More important is the bonus structure which is cash money in hand. The execs here probably aren't even getting that given the poor performance. These guys are working for base salary and not much more. Comfortable, yes. Creating massive wealth, not by a long shot. A few years of that and it would hard to see any of them staying on. You don't go to a Harvard Business Executive program for that kind of return. Not in your early-mid 50s. BWDIK
My opinion is the company should husband the free cash flow which will be very significant through the end of 2015 (I estimate $100 million to $120 million U.S.) and temporarily suspend the payment for one year. Having that much cash on hand could "batten down the hatches" and provide a backstop to a drilling market that could remain weak for an extended period of years. If they get well-decomissioning work anyway, so much the better, then they could resume the dividend even at today's high rate. While it would be painful to forego a dividend for one year, most investors are in a position to withstand a year of personal belt-tightening. I'd gladly give up one year of dividends to assure my stock and company will be around for the entire life of the rigs. The market has already priced in a cut anyway, and I am just advocating a one-year dividend hiatus, a small temporary suspension, not an elimination. JMO.
Normally, those automatic stabilizers work well, lower oil price becomes the cure for low oil price--- as users of energy take advantage of the cheap oil and thus stabilize and ultimately move the price back up. However the black swan event here is the fear of a global pandemic (ebola), not even the actual outbreak, which itself is starting the spread just a bit. In that situation almost everything stops or slows down. People won't even leave their houses, let alone go to airports, shopping malls or any public place. Look at the 10-year and 30-year bond yields--Deflation is rearing its ugly head. The 10-year U.S. bond is about to dip below 2.0%. The odds of a global recession are creeping higher (my guess is 30% odds in 2015). The market has done well since March 2009, but every 5-7 years---well you know what happens...............
or even just the fear of one. A few more Ebola cases in the U.S. and airports will go empty, stores as well. You can't touch anything because you do not know who touched it minutes before you. Door knobs, door handles,shopping carts, you can't even brush against anyone whose arms and legs are uncovered. You stay home, cuddle w/your loved ones. The coming deflationary result could be significant. The last thing you want to do is go to the ATM and touch the pushbuttons on the machine.
I agree the only ones who look smart here are the parent company and board member's company who together sold stock at $20. Guess they knew what was going on.
We are not at the point of questioning scrap value on the two rigs yet though. That happened back in the 1980s-1990s as I recall. Some drilling companies simply went away or got absorbed, for example Global Marine shares traded as low as $1 before it ultimately got acquired. They were not alone.
Baron, excellent point . It does feel like a forced unwind for sure. Even the most fearful here would probably not want to sell at $13, unless they were being forced to. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how far the unwind reaches, if indeed that is what is happening. Also, unfortunately, oil down cycle can last a very long time, the better part of a decade. Awilco may be insulated to some extent doing well decommissioning, but if oil companies start losing money big time on the top line, they could try every trick in the book to delay spending any money on anything. It's just part of the paralzying psychology that takes hold in a commodity collapse. Look at what happened w/coal. Stocks near triple digits went to unbelievably low values. Walter Energy went from $140 to $1, Arch Coal went from $75 to $1. Picking a bottom is a dangerous endeavor.
Now I just worry whether some big fund or commodities firm has been caught on the wrong side of an oil price bet--you know, betting oil prices would rise due to worldwide geopolitical strife or something. I remember some years ago some firm (in Connecticutt I think, a hedge fund) made a massive wrong way bet on natural gas.