Oil Stocks Downgraded

Oil entered the first bear market since August as concerns worsen over a global supply glut

The number of downgrades may, from a contrarian point, signal oil’s bottom

See Stockwinners to read about Energy Action

A number of oil related stocks are down this morning after brokers downgraded several oil related stocks. Oil entered the first bear market since August as concerns worsen that OPEC is failing to ease a global supply glut.

Adding to an oversupplied market are Libya, which is pumping the most in four years, and shale drillers that are staging the longest drilling ramp-up on record. Meanwhile traders are hoarding an increasing amount of oil in tankers. All that crude is hindering efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to reduce stockpiles to the five-year average.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 2.72 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to analyst expectations that the EIA would report a 2.0-million barrel draw for the week ending June 16. This week’s inventory draw almost completely offsets last week’s API-reported crude inventory build of 2.75 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories rose this week by 346,000 barrels, as refiners continue to take crude oil out of inventory and turn it into gasoline. Surveyed analysts were close on gasoline predictions this week, expecting a 400,000-barrel build for the fuel, but even though the API report was close to projections, the three-week rise in inventories mean that demand for the fuel is not sufficient to cut into inventories as one would expect this time of year.

The Energy Department reports its inventory data at 10:30 a.m. today.  Based on the number of downgrades, it may be a bottom for oil prices!

Crude oil last traded at $43.70 per barrel.

Here is a list of oil stocks downgraded today:

Downgrades

AON Aon plc to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
APA Apache to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
AREX Approach Resources to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
AXAS Abraxas Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
AXTA Axalta Coating to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill
BAS Basic Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
BBG Bill Barrett to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
BHI Baker Hughes to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
BP BP to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
CHK Chesapeake to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
CIR CIRCOR to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
CLR Continental Resources to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
CPE Callon Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
CRZO Carrizo Oil & Gas to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
CRZO Carrizo Oil & Gas to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
CVE Cenovus Energy to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
CVX Chevron to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
CXO Concho Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
DO Diamond Offshore to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
DOV Dover to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
DVN Devon Energy Neutral at Seaport Global
E Eni SpA to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
ECA Encana to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
ECR Eclipse Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
EGN Energen to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
ESES Eco-Stim Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
ESTE Earthstone Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
ESV Ensco to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
FI Frank’s International to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
FI Frank’s International to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
GST Gastar Exploration to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
HAL Halliburton to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
HK Halcon Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
HP Helmerich & Payne to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
HP Helmerich & Payne to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
ICD Independence Contract Drilling to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
JONE Jones Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
KEG Key Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
LONE Lonestar Resources to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
LPI Laredo Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
MRC MRC Global to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
MRO Marathon Oil to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
NBL Noble Energy to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
NBR Nabors Industries to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
NBR Nabors Industries to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
NE Noble Corp. to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
NFX Newfield Exploration to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
OAS Oasis Petroleum to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
OII Oceaneering to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
OII Oceaneering to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
OIS Oil States to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
PDCE PDC Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
PDS Precision Drilling to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
PES Pioneer Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
PQ PetroQuest to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
PTEN Patterson-UTI to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
RDC Rowan Companies to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
RDS.A Royal Dutch Shell to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
REPYY Repsol to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
RES RPC, Inc. to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
RICE Rice Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SD SandRidge Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SM SM Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SN Sanchez Energy to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
SNDE Sundance Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SPN Superior Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
SRCI SRC Energy to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
WFT Weatherford to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
WLL Whiting Petroleum to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global
WLL Whiting Petroleum to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
WPX WPX Energy to Sell from Buy at Seaport Global
XEC Cimarex Energy to Sell from Neutral at Seaport Global

To read stories similar to this, sign up for a free trial membership to Stockwinners; be sure to check the Market Radar section. No credit card required. 

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

CA Could Be Taken Private

Companies have approached banks to finance a BMC purchase of CA

Stockwinners, Winning stock research since 1998

BMC Software Inc. and CA Inc. are considering a potential deal that would see the software companies combine as part of a transaction to take CA private, reports Bloomberg.

CA, Inc. provides software and solutions that help organizations to plan, develop, manage, and secure applications and enterprise environments in the United States and internationally.

The companies have approached banks about putting together a debt package to finance a BMC purchase of CA, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Talks are at an early stage and there is no guarantee a deal will be reached, the people said.

BMC was taken private by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital in 2013 in a deal valued at about $6.9 billion. The firms, which took a $750 million dividend from the company in 2014, may also put in new equity to help finance the deal, the people said.

RBC Capital analyst Matthew Hedberg says “a deal is unlikely given its scale.” However, he adds that a deal “could make sense” for CA, ” given a challenging multi-year mainframe renewal portfolio, struggle for organic growth and pending 606 adoption.” The analyst adds that ” there could likely be significant cost synergies as the businesses are similar.”

CA closed at $31.58. The issue has a 52-weeks trading range of $30.01 – $34.99.

To read stories similar to this, sign up for a free trial membership to Stockwinners; be sure to check the Market Radar section. No credit card required. 

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Chipotle Warns of High Costs, Shares Slide

Chipotle falls after signaling continued high costs to win back consumers

Stockwinners.com/blog

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) fell Tuesday after the restaurant chain “clarified” its second quarter outlook, appearing to confirm that costs related to food, marketing, and promotion will remain elevated as it seeks to regain consumer trust following its 2015 food scares.

CHIPOTLE WARNS ON COSTS

In a regulatory filing after Monday’s close, Chipotle “clarified” its financial outlook in connection with an investor meeting, saying that “for Q2, we continue to expect food costs to be approximately 34.2% of sales, and marketing and promotion costs to be up approximately 20-30 basis points versus Q1 to 3.6%-3.7% of sales. As a result, we expect other operating costs as a percentage of sales for Q2 to be at or slightly higher than reported for Q1. For the full year, we continue to expect comparable restaurant sales increases in the high single digits.”

PIPER MAKES ONLY MINOR TWEAKS:

Piper Jaffray’s Nicole Regan highlighted that the news follows a “solid” Q1 report and says the Q2 guidance update necessitates only “relatively minor” tweaks to her quarterly models. The analyst maintains her earnings predictions for both 2017 and 2018, adding that the firm’s latest checks generally reflect the consensus opinion that trends are now “headed in the right direction,” likely helped by Chipotle’s TV campaign. Regan reiterated an Overweight rating and $530 target on the stock while noting that its next catalyst is “stringing together a series of steady quarterly improvements.”

MAXIM PREFERS DEEPER PULLBACK

While keeping a Hold rating and $440 target on Chipotle, Maxim’s Stephen Anderson cut his Q2 profit estimate to $2.62 from $2.87 per share on the company’s likely higher costs, adding that he had previously expected food expenses to improve as promotional activity and commodity prices eased. The analyst models double-digit comparable sales growth for the quarter while warning of impacts from the Easter holiday shift and Chipotle’s recently-disclosed data breach, saying he still prefers to wait for a “deeper pullback” before recommending the stock.

DEUTSCHE HIGHLIGHTS MARGIN CONCERNS

Writing that margin recovery “remains under pressure,” Deutsche Bank analyst Brett Levy says food, marketing, and other operating costs continue to form an “apparent drag on restaurant-level profits.” Levy lowered his second quarter EPS view by 20c to $2.04 and highlighted that management indicated sequential expense pressures are expected to persist and could near 100 basis points of additional costs versus the prior consensus forecast for restaurant-level margins. The analyst keeps a Sell rating on the shares, arguing that Chipotle “faces an uphill battle” to regain lost sales while lifting margins

PRICE ACTION: Shares of Chipotle remain down 6.7% to $428.31 in late day trading.

To read stories similar to this, sign up for a free trial membership to Stockwinners; be sure to check the Market Radar section. No credit card required. 

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

 

Solar Stocks that Could be Taken Over

Goldman sees Vivint as top target when M&A heats up in solar space

Stocks to invest in today

 

As the potential for increased mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. solar space ramps up, Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Lee views Vivint Solar (VSLR) as a main target for possible deals citing restructuring potential in the residential solar business.

M&A RIPENING

Lee said the transaction pipeline in the U.S. solar sector appears to be picking up, a trend he views as likely to continue, and estimated that approximately $3B of announced solar deals could be on track to close in the second half of 2017.

The emergence of contracted cash-flow based models, the restructuring of business models, low-cost financing and declines in solar equity prices are increasing the likelihood of mergers and acquisitions, the analyst wrote.

RANK 1:

Based on the potential for increased M&A, Lee upgraded Vivint to Buy from Neutral and raised his price target for the shares to $6 from $3.50. Lee assigned Vivint Goldman’s highest M&A rank of 1, representing a 30% to 50% probability of a deal, up from 3, as he sees increased restructuring potential in the residential solar business.

He added the company’s renewed financing breadth, concentrated equity ownership and aggressive shift to cash/loan volumes strengthens its turn-around potential and position as an M&A target.

Lee said management has previously said it is open to a sale and Goldman’s hypothetical sensitivity analysis suggests potential mid-teens returns for an acquirer if mix shift continues.

OTHER RANK INCREASES

Lee also assigned a rank of 1 to 8point3 Energy (CAFD), up from 4, saying while the firm has not viewed the company as an attractive acquisition candidate due to high leverage and its dual-parent ownership structure, an announcement by First Solar (FSLR) and SunPower (SPWR) to explore strategic alternatives could result in a sale of the company. He added risk-reward for potential buyers is attractive at current equity prices.

Lee kept a Buy rating on the name and raised his price target to $16 to $15.

In addition, he notes Sunrun (RUN) is trading below tangible book value following underperformance but Goldman’s hypothetical sensitivity analysis suggests potential returns above 15% for an acquirer if mix shift persists. Lee ranks the company at a 2, up from a 3, reiterates a Buy rating and raises his price target to $10 from $9.

PRICE ACTION

In Tuesday trading, Vivint rose 19% to $5.18, 8point3 Energy increased 9% to $13.82, and Sunrun rose 8.3% to $6.34.

To read stories similar to this, sign up for a free trial membership to Stockwinners; be sure to check the Market Radar section. No credit card required. 

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.