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Crude oil prices exhibited a slow and steady decline over the past week. On Monday, it did show a slight amount of strength, but this brief rally ended as soon as it began and WTI continued on its downward descent. This was one of the least volatile weeks for the oil markets that we have seen in quite some time. In fact, from midday Thursday until the market close on Friday, crude prices were almost completely flat. There were a few erroneous trades that caused momentary sharp price moves, but these were all over before anyone without high-powered computers could exploit them. The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 was, on the other hand, was much more volatile. The index declined sharply from Monday until midday Wednesday, finishing up with a sharp downward decline. This sharp correction rallied very quickly, pushing the index upward to record a gain on the day. From there, the index slowly but surely gained for the remainder of the week and finished off the week just below where it opened on Monday. As usual, this had different effects on each of the six foreign integrated oil and gas stocks that are tracked in this weekly update series.

Statoil (NYSE:STO) opened at $24.50 on December 3, 2012. The stock closed at $24.13 in after hours trading on December 7, 2012. Stockholders in the company thus suffered a loss of $0.37 per ADR share or 1.51% over the week. Statoil opened at $23.99 on November 12, 2012. This gives the stock a trailing four-week gain of $0.14 or 0.58%. Statoil submitted an application to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate this week to bid on licenses for a few blocks in the Barents Sea. Given the mineral richness of the Barents Sea, Statoil may be able to grow its reserves further if it wins the bidding rounds and manages to find oil in the blocks that it wins.

STO 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

STO 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

BP plc (NYSE:BP) opened the week at $41.71. The stock closed at $41.07 in after hours trading on December 7. BP's stockholders thus suffered a loss of $0.64 or 1.53% over the week. BP opened at $41.11 on November 12, 2012. Thus, shareholders of BP stock suffered a loss of $0.04 or 0.01% over the trailing four-week period. BP closed a deal with Plains Exploration and Production Company (NYSE:PXP) to divest several properties in the Gulf of Mexico. This will hurt BP in the short-term but it will also increase the company's liquidity. Analysts expect that this divestment, which is part of BP's $37 billion divestment plan, will prove to be beneficial over the long-term. The company is shedding mature assets in order to focus more closely on its growth assets. In effect, the company is trying to create a more growth-focused portfolio from a smaller base. The company announced this week at the Upstream Investor Day that it intends to increase its capital spending to $30 billion by 2014 to develop its offshore deepwater production assets. This appears to be another part of the company's divestment and refocusing plan.

BP 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

BP 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Total S.A. (NYSE:TOT) opened on December 3 at $50.76 per share. The stock closed at $49.70 in after hours trading on December 7. This gives ADR shareholders a loss of $1.06 or 2.09% for the week. Total opened on November 12 at $48.19. Thus, stockholders have witnessed a gain of $1.51 or 3.13% over the past four weeks. Total, along with Cobalt International Energy (NYSE:CIE), announced the discovery of a large-scale oil discovery deep under the Gulf of Mexico this week. Cobalt International is the operator of the block where this discovery is located with Total having a 40% stake. Despite not having an operator stake, Total will still profit from this discovery with its partnership stake in the block.

TOT 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

TOT 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Suncor (NYSE:SU) opened on December 3 at $32.79. The stock closed at $32.55 in after hours trading on December 7. This gives the stock a loss of $0.24 or 0.73% for the week. The stock opened on November 12, 2012 at $33.33. Thus, Suncor stock has delivered losses to its shareholders of $0.78 or 2.34% over the trailing four week period. Suncor went ex-dividend on November 29. Shareholders as of the market close on the previous day will receive a dividend of $0.13 per share. This dividend effectively decreases the trailing four-week loss to $0.65 or 1.95%. Suncor Energy achieved first throughput from its Firebag 4 growth project this week. I discussed the Firebag Stage 4 project in my analysis of the company's results. Thus, Suncor is continuing to execute well on its growth strategy.

SU 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

SU 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) opened at $66.98 on December 3, 2012. The stock closed at $67.05 in after hours trading on Friday, December 7. Shareholders thus witnessed a gain of $0.07 or 0.10% for the week. The stock opened at $68.00 on November 12, 2012. Shareholders thus suffered a loss of $0.95 per share or 1.40% over the trailing four-week period. Royal Dutch Shell went ex-dividend on November 14. Shareholders as of market close on the previous day will receive a dividend of $0.86 per ADR share. This dividend effectively reduces the trailing four-week loss to $0.09 or 0.13%.

RDS.A 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

RDS.A 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

Eni (NYSE:E) opened at $47.81 on December 3. The stock closed at $46.22 in after hours trading on Friday, December 7. Shareholders thus suffered a loss of $1.59 or 3.33% for the week. The stock opened at $44.53 on November 12, 2012. Shareholders thus profited from a gain of $1.69 per share or 3.80% over the trailing four-week period.

E 5-Day Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

E 4-Week Chart

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Source: Fidelity Investments

All except for one of these stocks delivered paper losses to investors over the past week. The one that didn't, and thus was the best performer, was Royal Dutch Shell. The worst performance was delivered was Italy's Eni. None of the others were anywhere close to Eni. Eni was, ironically, the best performer over the trailing four-week period. Total had the second best performance but it had a long way to go in order to match Eni's impressive run. The worst performer over the trailing four-week period was Suncor Energy. This stock was the worst performer even when dividends are considered. None of the others were anywhere close to matching this dismal performance. This poor performance was also delivered in spite of the company's strong growth prospects. There could be an opportunity here for investors, but it would be better to wait until oil prices bottom out before jumping in.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 6 Foreign Integrated Oil And Gas Stocks