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Andrew Williams  

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  • Angie's List Faces Tougher Competition [View article]
    This could become expensive . . .

    "1. This is a civil action seeking monetary damages, restitution, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief from Defendant, Angie’s List, Inc. (“Angie’s List”), arising from Angie’s List fraudulent, deceptive, and misleading practice of luring consumers to pay for access to purportedly unfiltered reviews, ratings, and search result rankings by consumers of local service providers. In reality, Angie’s List secretly manipulates reviews, ratings, and search results for the company’s own economic gain.
    Jul 31, 2015. 09:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Was Wrong On Searchlight Minerals [View article]
    Hello Ruerd,

    Here is a fun article from Northern Miner:

    Ager has been associated with a number of these situations. In the Mijo claims case, BLM expropriated the claims. Matheson/Ager were required to prove to the court that gold existed on the property. The Judge allowed him to choose the assay firms.

    "The samples were sent to three commercial laboratories and the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, and to three assayers appointed by Matheson . . . The four labs chosen by the BLM got uniformly low results on all the samples from Mijo, and returned accurate results on blank samples (material from the front yards of Shumaker's and Clay's Phoenix-area homes) and on reference materials of known metal content. Pass's preferred assayers found concentrations of gold in virtually all the samples; White even returned three of his four highest values on samples of the BLM geologists' front-yard soil."
    Jul 9, 2015. 10:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]
    Note that shareholders did not approve the stock option plan . . .




    CALGARY, AB – Alberta Oilsands Inc. ("AOS" or the "Company") (TSXV: AOS) today announced the results of matters voted on at its annual and special shareholders meeting held on June 25, 2015 (the "Meeting"). Details of the matters put forth were set out in the notice of meeting and management information circular dated May 21, 2015 (the "Information Circular").

    The total number of common shares represented by shareholders present in person or by proxy at the meeting was 77,269,356 representing 36.44% of the Company's outstanding common shares. The resolutions that were passed at the Meeting included fixing the number of directors to be elected at seven members,
    the reappointment of KPMG LLP, as auditor of AOS, and the confirmation of the amended by-laws of the Company.

    In addition, all of the nominees listed in the Information Circular were re-elected as directors of the Company. The resolution relating to the re-approval of the stock option plan of the Company was not approved.
    Jun 28, 2015. 11:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]
    When a board of directors with a reputation for misallocating capital tackles an account full of cash, it is the reputation of the BOD that remains in tact.

    That is not exactly what Buffet said, but I think he would agree.

    But seriously . . . I feel confident most shareholders would be supportive of almost any cash or share offer for AOS.
    May 28, 2015. 10:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]
    Good news!

    Here is the press release

    AOS received $35,087,246 so it seems AOS currently has at least $.165 of cash per share
    May 27, 2015. 12:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • North American Palladium Update: Who Wants To Sell Us The Brooklyn Bridge Again? [View article]

    Nice work!

    At least the equity isn't completely cancelled and the mine remains in operation . . . otherwise no surprises.
    Apr 17, 2015. 09:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]
    Securities Regulation, Alta Reg 115/1995

    (4.1) No person or company shall make a statement that the person or company knows or reasonably ought to know
    (a) in any material respect and at the time and in the light of the circumstances in which it is made,
    (i) is misleading or untrue, or
    (ii) does not state a fact that is required to be stated or that is necessary to make the statement not misleading,

    (b) would reasonably be expected to have a significant effect on the market price or value of a security, a derivative or an underlying interest of a derivative.
    Mar 23, 2015. 11:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]

    • AOS’ application for reimbursement includes expenses related to leases that were not cancelled. These expenses go beyond the scope of the Mineral Rights Compensation Regulation. AOS’ frequent references to the MRCR lead investors to believe their application was consistent with the language of the MRCR.
    • It appears the discussion with Alberta could have wrapped up roughly a year ago if not for AOS’s persistence with a specious application.
    • There is no justification for AOS’s lack of transparency.

    In light of the above, Friday’s press release was grossly inadequate.

    1) The MRCR is explicit in its description of the Province’s responsibility to provide reimbursement for expenses on cancelled leases. What led AOS’ Board of Directors to believe Alberta would compensate AOS for expenses on leases that were not cancelled? Why did it take so long for the BOD to discover this error?
    2) Why did AOS routinely cite the MRCR in support of the application when in fact only 60% of the application is consistent with the MRCR’s requirements?
    3) Why did AOS fail to disclose this very material issue to shareholders for so long?

    Given these failings, the best course of action would be for the BOD to announce a dividend of the bulk of the compensation with a final distribution upon completion of the company’s dissolution. Shareholders should contact the company to convince them to take the above course of action and avoid further waste of shareholder value.
    Mar 23, 2015. 12:06 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]

    Today's press release left me with a lot of questions. Most importantly . . .

    "AOS will review this matter further with its advisors and determine the appropriate next steps to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion."

    If AOS decides to litigate, then an outcome will take time and money.

    I have not traded the stock.

    Mar 20, 2015. 10:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]
    AOS will receive "approximately CD$34 million, inclusive of applicable interest."

    This is disappointing. Barinder's comments above were on the mark.

    My rough math suggests AOS will receive roughly $32.3 mm plus $1.7 mm of interest which is about 67% of the $47.8 mm (not including interest) that they had discussed in their press releases.

    The reimbursement is worth about CD$.16 per fully diluted share (224.6 mm shs). The stock is down 24% as I write this.
    Mar 20, 2015. 10:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold Reserve Inc.: Potentially 80% Upside [View article]

    "On October 9, 2014, the ICSID panel issued a 134-page decision that awarded Mobil $1,600,042,482, plus 3.25% interest, compounded annually from June 27, 2007 until payment."

    "The next day—October 10, 2014—Mobil filed an ex parte petition in this (Southern District of NY) seeking recognition of the Award"

    The court denies Venezuela's arguments to deny recognition but stays recognition pending Venezuela's application to ICSID for revision of the award.

    This is a good read . . .

    "At issue in this case is the process by which an arbitral award issued by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID") is to be recognized and converted into a federal court judgment."
    Mar 18, 2015. 10:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]
    Thanks very much for sharing his comments.

    Mar 12, 2015. 07:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]

    “It's difficult for me to believe that their numbers could be off too significantly.”

    I agree.

    If you want to be conservative and estimate a reimbursement of only 65% and recalculate interest based on that number, then you come up with a price target in the $.17 to $.18 range. But, in my view it doesn’t make sense to allocate project development expenses to leases that AOS had no plans to develop.

    I have wondered if other companies used different methodologies to allocate expenses. If so, Alberta might be trying to address that simply to be consistent/fair.

    Mar 8, 2015. 11:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alberta Oilsands Update [View article]
    Hi Barinder,

    This is a good question. I have had this conversation with folks more knowledgeable than myself. Here are my thoughts . . .

    Alberta is obligated by law to reimburse AOS for its expenses. AOS’s claim could be up to $60 mm, but that is less than a rounding error in Alberta's $45 bil budget.

    AOS's reimbursement is accruing interest and Alberta has plenty of savings and revenue (just less revenue than last year). In fact, it appears the province will have a surplus for the fiscal year ending March 31.

    There are 10 companies seeking reimbursement most of which are private and not obligated to issue a press release. It seems to me that we would have heard rumors if any company had received something from Alberta. So, the delay is not specific to AOS.

    I imagine AOS is getting a lot of voicemail/email with this question. If the delay was simply related to Alberta's budget, I assume AOS would have volunteered that information.

    In my view, the most likely explanation for this drawn out process has to do with the folks at Alberta Energy taking their time to ensure they have it right. Once funds are distributed, it will be difficult to recover them if it is later discovered that mistakes were made.

    Keep in mind that AOS trades at roughly a 50% discount (or 100% upside) to the level of cash per share if they receive the expected reimbursement. So, we have a tremendous margin of safety.

    Thanks for the question,

    Mar 8, 2015. 10:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold Reserve Inc.: Potentially 80% Upside [View article]

    Thanks for the question.

    I don’t know for sure GDRZF is at the head of the line. I have seen some smaller claims that appear to have been settled. But, I don’t know of any significant awards against Venezuela that have been confirmed by a court. If you are aware of any awards, please let me know.

    Interesting point you make about a rise in LIBOR.

    Thank you,

    Mar 6, 2015. 02:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment