I hate to reply to my own post, but I really hope they didn't take my advice and fill the crude tanks at $80. If they did, I can say it was an honest mistake - I lost a lot of money thinking oil had bottomed out!
I'm thinking that this current downtrend is due to people speculating that the spread between WTI and Brent is going to go away. (It is probably more accurate to say that the discount that the refinery gets from the local producers compared to foreign oil is going to go away.) To me, this makes sense and I never thought that the spread between WTI and Brent would stay around as long as it has. I've always known that WTI is a superior crude oil to Brent and if there weren't problems with transportation, WTI should be priced a fair bit above Brent. However, some of the transportation problems are simply due to the fact that we are producing so much crude oil in the US. If producers shut off the valves at the wells and quit drilling a lot of the bottlenecks will go away. This may cut into some of the nice profits that have been seen by ALDW, WNR, HFC and even TSO to some degree. How big of a problem this will be remains to be seen. I think that the more immediate danger is that the marking down of the value of crude oil will negatively affect this quarters earnings.
For what it's worth from a non-expert. - Yes. However, I've been wrong before. It could get worse before it gets better - especially if this OPEC meeting doesn't slow oil production down. I think it would be pretty strange for oil to just drop without any partial reversals or periods of stability. However, the markets are volatile and nothing is certain.
I increased my position today. I don't think the Krotz deal was a bad thing, but it added some uncertainty in my opinion. With this news, I am certain that todays price is favorable. I wanted to get in below 17, but I decided to take what I could get. I think this stock is a good deal presntly. The "WTI Brent spread has compressed, but everything else looks good.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
It seems like the movement is really amplified. I guess people believe that this company is no longer viable if crude dips a little. I personally believe that oil is heading back up, I just don't know what the timing will be. If OPEC doesn't come out with an agreement next week, the short term outlook for this stock will be grim. However, I doubt if oil is going below the current level for more than 3 months, but it could get worse (for this company) before it gets better. I've already purchased quite a bit of this stock and have lost money to this point. If a real panic ensues and I can pick up a boatload cheap, I'll try my luck again. Like always, you have to stick your neck out to have a chance to make money. Days like today let you know that there is a significant upside possible, but the same goes for the flip side.
I guess I wasn't too thrilled about the news either. I had just done some comparisons with other pure play refining stocks and calculated that ALDW was about 30 % under priced in comparison to WNR and HFC. I also compared them to all of the other refiners which faired even worse. This aquisition messes up my calculations, but I don't see how this aquisition is going to help. However, it all depends on the details which I have not had time to fully digest. I don't have any recent news on the Krotz Spring refinery, but I used to hear a lot about it because my ex-boss came from that facility. At the time, it sounded like it needed quite a bit of upgrading, but that was years ago. Hopefully, when the details are fully known, this will add to the bottom line. In any case, I think this stock will continue to be one that I hold. Even if the short term effect of the new facility is negative, the stock is still stronger than its peers. I might even buy some more if it dips any further.
I guess I thought it bottomed at $80 and so I put a lot of money into this stock. I still have a ways to go before I break even. However, I think we will get there. I'm not selling.
Very good! I hope they have good earnings like you predict. I guess you have been very close for at least the past two quarters. If they can put out good earnings in the 4th quarter which is typically the slowest for refiners, they should have a great year. Thanks for running the numbers again!
This is an excellent lesson in herd mentallity.
Scenario - the rancher dumps a large bale of something out near the cattle at the gate of the field. The leaders of the herd are down by dried up creek contently chewing on some dry vegetation. They take little notice at the excitement of the members of the herd near the gate. Some of the cows nearer to the gate start to wonder over, but the leaders of the herd are content to stay where they are. They don't know the farmer has dumped out a large pile of fresh alfalfa. They only remember the nasty urea pellets that he was feeding them last winter. All of the other cattle take their cues from the leaders. No large movement occurs at this point.
Finally, one of the herd leaders becomes curious enough to wonder over. He is tired of dried grass and kind of has a hankerin for some urea pellets. However, he is overjoyed at what he sees. His lowing attracts a couple other cows and pricks up the ears of the other herd leaders. Pretty soon there is a rather large migration towards the alfalfa pile. The more aggressive cattle pick up their step because they don't want to get there late and not have any. The others pick up their step. Pretty soon, you know it - STAMPEDE!
OK - I might have gotten carried away with the analogy, but sooner or later, this stock will reach the fair value point. People are justifiably cautious with refining stock. Due to this, they may be slow on the uptake, but in the long run, you can't hide value. There have been some good and some bad quarters for this stock, but the average earnings have been excellent. I don't see that changing. In fact, it looks like they've got a lot of the expensive maintenance items out of the way and they have added value with the vacuum tower project, so things may get better!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Yeah, they kind of took me by surprise with the conference call. I came left and it was short and sweet, so I didn't have anytime to ask questions. Let us know what you find out.
Once again, for the 2nd time in a row - nice call! We might have to elevate you to guru status based upon these estimates! It looks like your model is pretty well dialed in, although, I don't think it is humanly possible to predict these things so closely every time!
I expect to see oil come up the day after the US election. We may have to wait for the end of November at the very latest.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I wouldn't doubt that all of these factors have enterred the minds of the Saudi's. As others have mentioned, they also want to keep the Iranians on the ropes financially.
However, the bottom line is that it is not in their interest to keep the price of oil low forever. I will be surprised if there isn't a large production cut-back after the next OPEC meeting in November. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see it come sooner than that! However, it could also be that the Saudi's have actually lost control of the oil market to some degree and that they can't do much about the final price. However, I believe that they still have the lowest production costs and therefore, they swing the market. I think a combination of a cutback from the Saudis, plus the usual supply disruptions that seem to crop up on a regular basis will combine to swing the price dramatically upward. I also believe that demand will pick up as we head into the next year.
I know that many refineries have an extensive hedging policy that tries to keep crude oil price swings out of the picture. In fact, one refinery that I worked for was fond of saying "We're not in the business of speculating on crude oil prices". I thought that it was a pretty trite thing to say because every refinery purchases crude oil and therefore, it is an integral part of their business. I think more than anything, they were saying that they wouldn't let their shareholders profit from any crude oil swings. If a company uses a little common sense, they should come out ahead by saving themselves the constant cost of hedging on crude prices. If they get a little lucky and buy low and sell high, the profits could be very much enhanced by their strategies. It would also serve to dampen the swings in the market to some degree. If we let hedgers and speiculators take over these markets, the wild swings in commodity prices are going to be the norm. I'm just saying that I would rather take my lumps in this issue rather than miss out on the upside.
I doubt if it's going to be easy for anyone to get into this stock before earnings. With that much of the float out of service, the price should rise nicely if the estimates are anywhere close. I expect it to surpass the $20 mark well before earnings. The owners of this stock really don't want to sell!
I was pretty mad when they split aldw off from alj. I figured they should have given the alj stock owners the first crack at it. However, I've overcome my prejudice because I think I can make money here. I really believe that this is going to be a good quarter. My only question is how much the drop in crude prices will affect the bottom line. It can take a huge bite out of profits if they time things wrong. I wonder if they have a hedging strategy and if it will help them this quarter.