GE Sep 2019 16.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
0.0200
0.0000 (0.00%)
As of 11:37AM EDT. Market open.
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Previous Close0.0100
Open0.0200
Bid0.0000
Ask0.0300
Strike16.00
Expire Date2019-09-20
Day's Range0.0200 - 0.0200
Contract RangeN/A
Volume1
Open Interest641
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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Oil and gas producer stocks are deeply unpopular. Oilfield services stocks, on the other hand, are deeply, deeply unpopular:The oily water in which the services companies swim is the money that exploration and production firms spend – and it has dried up. Analysts at Morgan Stanley have just reduced their forecasts for upstream capital expenditure. In the title of the report, “Global Upstream Capex: Growth Still in the Cards,” that “Still” does most of the work.At around $65 a barrel, oil remains well below those triple-digit salad days of early 2014. Still, it’s about double where it was in early 2016, and yet there’s precious little sign of that in E&P capex budgets. Something structural has happened.E&P stocks are unpopular because a decade of high spending did wonders for oil and gas output, “energy dominance” and C-suite pay, but little for investors. So the latter have gone on strike, demanding evidence of a change of heart on the part of management teams, chiefly in the form of tighter spending and more generous payouts to shareholders. You can see the problem for oilfield services, which profited nicely from the E&P sector’s pre-2014 largesse.At the same time, E&P companies still like to grow, so the pressure to do more with less remains high (especially as activists have begun beating the drum on this). Last year’s surge in U.S. oil and gas production was the biggest achieved by any country ever, according to BP Plc, even as upstream capex there was still 22% below the level of 2014.E&P companies depend on their services providers to help achieve the productivity gains that have fueled the shale “miracle.” Yet the rewards for this – such as they are - have flowed overwhelmingly to the client, not the contractor. A decade ago, the oilfield services sector earned a return on capital employed that was more than 13 percentage points higher than the E&P sector, according to analysts at Evercore ISI. By 2018, the sectors had switched places, with services earning 7 percentage points less than their clients. That is some transfer of value.The oilfield services industry shares some pathologies with the E&P business. Contractors invested too heavily in the boom, creating excess capacity and bloated cost structures. When the crash hit, they prioritized market share, the standard response in expectation of an eventual rebound – and the rebound hasn’t taken off. General Electric Co.’s ill-timed foray into the business via Baker Hughes and Weatherford International Ltd.’s meandering shuffle into chapter 11 have provided unwelcome narratives for all this. Today, despite deals such as the recently announced merger between Keane Group Inc. and C&J Energy Services Inc., the sector remains fragmented, particularly in those areas such as pressure pumping that service the U.S. shale industry.Shale is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it has accounted for all of the growth in global upstream capex since the trough in 2016 and is set to contribute 29% of the forecast growth from here through 2022. On the other, it is a fragmented corner of the business that is highly sensitive to oil prices and has flattened the cost curve across the global industry. Besides trade-war concerns, expectations of frackers taking advantage of any geopolitical spike in oil prices to boost production have helped to keep a lid on that spike, despite numerous provocations.The upshot is a very narrow band in oil prices between celebration and belt-tightening. Morgan Stanley estimates $50 oil in 2020, as opposed to $60, would cut expected cash flow from operations in the global upstream business by a fifth, translating to a 13% drop in capex – which would take it below 2016 levels.Faced with such sensitivities, investors aren’t willing to pay a premium. Bellwethers Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd. trade at Ebitda multiples similar to where they were in 2015, when spending was headed down, rather than being priced for growth. Spending should grind higher from here; even so, the sector faces a deep-rooted challenge. For E&P companies to win favor with investors again, they must adhere to a regimen that won’t help their contractors win any popularity contests.To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at ldenning1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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For some customers, shipping goods via FedEx’s two-day air service may now cost about the same as shipping them through the ground division.(1)A FedEx spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that the company hasn't changed its pricing strategy, adding that the two-day Express service “has been very successful and continues to deliver tremendous value to small and medium businesses competing in the e-commerce market.” Reports of the discounts come just weeks after FedEx said its domestic Express air-delivery unit was dropping Amazon as a customer to focus on "serving the broader e-commerce market." FedEx dropped Amazon as a customer for its Express air-delivery unit to focus on “serving the broader e-commerce market.” The charitable interpretation of that move is that FedEx had found a bit of backbone and was holding a firmer line on pricing with Amazon in an effort to bolster its profit margins. The other possibility is that FedEx recognized that Amazon’s efforts to bring more of its logistics operations in house were real, and that it may want to start the process of breaking up with Amazon before Amazon decides to break up with it. While FedEx CEO Fred Smith has repeatedly painted any notion of Amazon disrupting the logistics industry as “fantastical,” his actions increasingly suggest otherwise. The share of capacity devoted to the time-sensitive legal documents and medical supplies that the FedEx Express network was originally built for will likely continue to shrink. But it’s uneconomical for the division’s fleet – which numbered 670 leased and owned planes at the end of 2018 – to fly partially full or not at all. Meanwhile, FedEx expects U.S. e-commerce demand to grow to 100 million packages per day by 2026. It’s been adamant that Amazon only directly accounts for a small percentage of its overall sales. But Amazon has forever changed the world’s expectations around shopping and delivery. So whether or not its own sales are in the mix, FedEx will be forced to drink more deeply from the firehose of e-commerce shipments to keep its network humming along. And that will come at a cost to margins.FedEx’s decision to prioritize shipments from the likes of Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. gave some analysts hope that it would deliver a greater share of packages to higher-paying business customers and add more density to its delivery routes. But there’s some debate as to whether the Express air-delivery unit as currently constituted still makes sense. Amazon relies on a network of fulfillment and sorting centers close to metropolitan areas to rapidly complete and ship orders, a model that many rival retailers are mimicking in some shape or form as they try to stay competitive. If you’re only going to deliver a package 25 or 50 miles, you’re not going to use a plane to do that. Indeed, when FedEx’s decision to drop Amazon as a U.S. Express customer was first announced, Seaport Global Holdings analyst Kevin Sterling wondered to Bloomberg News whether it was a precursor to the Express unit eventually fading out.Planes still have a role to play: Amazon last week announced an agreement to lease 15 additional Boeing Co. 737-800 converted freighters from General Electric Co.’s jet-lessor arm, adding to an existing agreement for five planes. But FedEx’s reported need to offer discounts to keep the planes it has full calls into question the company’s decision to devote a significant amount of its capital expenditure budget to refreshing its airplane fleet. Management has been clear it’s not expanding capacity at the Express unit, but rather replacing its planes with more efficient options to improve productivity and costs. Downsizing the fleet and reallocating those resources could be a smarter move. The reported pricing cuts – coupled with FedEx’s recently announced plan to offer delivery seven days a week by 2020 and add a fleet of flexible, part-time drivers – reinforce a point both I and my colleague Shira Ovide have long argued: Amazon doesn’t need to steal customers away from FedEx and UPS en masse to be a threat. It’s already forcing both companies to rethink the way they operate. The revenue lost from removing Amazon as an Express customer is relatively minor, but the world the e-commerce giant has created isn’t a hospitable one for the package-delivery incumbents’ profit margins and capital-spending budgets.  (1) News of the discounts weighed on shares Monday, as did a separate shipping issue: FedExhad to issue a second apology to Huawei Technologies over the misrouting of packages, and some reports indicate China is contemplating black-listing it.To contact the author of this story: Brooke Sutherland at bsutherland7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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