Seeking Alpha

Papa of Four's  Instablog

Papa of Four
Send Message
If you choose to follow me please send me a message telling me which article got your attention Love the trill of the hunt. Finding that little gem which is set to take off. I check daily and will trade partial position to accumulate shares for the longer haul. I have been trading for a while,... More
My company:
View Papa of Four's Instablogs on:
  • Norsk Hydro Beats By $0.05, Q4 EBITDA Up157% YoY

    Provided for informational reasons. Copy of the company's own press release.

    Norsk Hydro ASA (OTCQX:NHYDY) earnings release

    Norsk Hydro ASA's underlying earnings before financial items and tax (EBIT) increased to NOK 2,886 million in the fourth quarter, up from NOK 1,490 million in the third quarter of 2014. Bauxite & Alumina and Primary Metal delivered their highest quarterly results since 2007.

    February 11, 2015

    • Record high quarterly underlying EBIT of NOK 2,886 million
    • Proposed 2014 dividend NOK 1 per share
    • Revised dividend policy: 40 % of net income over the cycle
    • Higher realized all-in metal and alumina prices, supported by currency movements
    • Improved operating performance at Alunorte and Paragominas
    • Karmøy technology pilot investment decision made

    Higher realized aluminium prices, product premiums and realized alumina prices had significant positive impact on the quarter together with the substantial strengthening of the US dollar compared to the NOK and BRL.

    Underlying EBIT for Bauxite and Alumina improved significantly in the fourth quarter reflecting higher realized alumina prices, higher sales volumes and lower operating costs at Alunorte together with positive currency developments. Bauxite production increased in the quarter reaching 10.2 million mt on an annualized basis.

    "I am pleased to see the highest quarterly results we have reported since we became a pure play aluminium company in 2007. For the second quarter in a row, we also see a solid improvement in operating costs at Alunorte and Paragominas, as well as increased production levels, reflecting robust operations," says President and CEO, Svein Richard Brandtzæg. "In line with our commitment to return cash to our shareholders, the Board of Directors proposed to raise the annual dividend from NOK 0.75 per share to NOK 1 per share, and at the same time revised the dividend policy from 30% to 40% of net income over the cycle" Brandtzæg continues.

    Underlying EBIT for Primary Metal improved substantially in the fourth quarter influenced by a further increase in realized aluminium prices and product premiums. The strengthening USD compared to the NOK and BRL also had a significant positive impact on underlying results for the quarter.

    "I am very pleased that we have decided to go ahead with the Karmøy technology pilot project, following the approval from ESA last week. The technology pilot will demonstrate Hydro's next generation technology aiming to produce aluminium at the world's lowest energy consumption and CO2 footprint per tonne of metal," says Brandtzæg.

    "We will continue our improvement efforts in 2015, both on the commercial and operational side. As earnings outlook has improved, now is the time to really show the strength of our improvement culture," says Brandtzæg.

    Metal Markets delivered higher underlying EBIT compared to the previous quarter influenced by positive currency effects and improved results from remelt operations, partly offset by lower results from sourcing and trading activities.

    Underlying EBIT for Rolled Products declined compared with the third quarter of 2014 mainly due to seasonally lower sales volumes. Margin pressure continued, however, this was mostly offset by currency gains on export sales. Positive contributions from the Rheinwerk smelter due to higher all-in metal1) prices had a positive effect on underlying results for the quarter.

    Compared to the third quarter, underlying EBIT for Energy increased due to higher production.

    Underlying EBIT for Sapa declined compared to the third quarter, mainly due to seasonally lower demand.

    Operating cash flow amounted to NOK 4.4 billion for the fourth quarter. Cash used for investment activities amounted to NOK 0.8 billion net of sales proceeds. Hydro's net debt position amounted to NOK 0.1 billion at the end of the fourth quarter also influenced by unrealized currency losses, payment of dividends to minority interests and a payment to Vale representing the first of two tranches for the remaining Paragominas shares.

    For the full year, underlying EBIT more than doubled to NOK 5,692 million compared with NOK 2,725 million in 2013 influenced by the significant increase in all-in metal prices1) together with the strengthening US dollar compared to the NOK and BRL. Following several years of challenging market conditions, the global aluminium market has improved with substantially higher all-in metal prices together with a better demand and supply balance for primary aluminium with a market deficit of around one million mt in the world outside China. Significant operational and commercial improvements implemented throughout the value chain have strengthened Hydro's ability to create value in an environment of improving market fundamentals.

    Hydro's Board of Directors proposes to pay a dividend of NOK 1 per share for 2014 reflecting the company's commitment to provide a cash return to its shareholders. The dividend reflects our operational performance for 2014, strong financial position and improved earnings outlook for 2015. Hydro's Board of Directors has revised the company's dividend policy from an average of 30 percent to 40 percent of net income over the cycle to our shareholders.

    Reported earnings before financial items and tax amounted to NOK 2,295 million in the fourth quarter. In addition to the factors discussed above, reported EBIT included net unrealized derivative losses and positive metal effects of negative NOK 72 million in total. Reported earnings also included impairment charges of NOK 145 million related to the rolling mill in Slim, Italy. In addition, reported EBIT included NOK 337 million (Hydro's share) relating to Sapa mainly for impairment and restructuring charges, and net other charges of NOK 36 million.

    In the previous quarter reported earnings before financial items and tax amounted to NOK 1,937 million including net unrealized derivative gains and positive metal effects of NOK 476 million in total. Reported earnings also included other charges of NOK 30 million.

    Loss from continuing operations amounted to NOK 168 million in the fourth quarter including a net foreign exchange loss of NOK 2,252 million. In the previous quarter, income from continuing operations amounted to NOK 665 million including a net foreign exchange loss of NOK 1,001 million.

    1) The all-in metal price refers to the LME aluminium price plus premiums.

    • Investor contact
      Contact: Pål Kildemo
      Cellular: +47 97096711
      E-mail: På
    • Press contact
      Contact: Halvor Molland
      Cellular +47 92979797
    Feb 12 10:56 AM | Link | Comment!
  • #SOTU, #Markets, #ISIS, #SocialMedia, #Volatility:What The Markets Teach Us About Conflict Resolution.

    First off, I am expecting some violent responses in the comment section. That is pretty much par for the course in the modern world of social media. No matter the topic, the comments will contain some polarized position and slurs. If the topic is political, you may get one or two thought out reasoned responses before the whole thing degenerates into denigration and name calling to discount the views of others. Republi-cunt and Lib-tard are good examples. We generally do not talk to each other like this in the real world, so why do it online?

    I believe it is the lack of physical engagement, the lack of perceived personal risk. In the good old days of dueling and gun fights at noon, you would have thought long and hard before issuing such insults. I feel that the thinking part is important. The branding of people who do not share your view point allows you to discount them. The lack of physical presence allows them to be stripped of their humanity. They are no longer a person, they are a Libtard or Troll or Spammer! We would do well to remember the lesson of history, particularly from teachers like Adolf Hitler.

    The jump to extremism should be easy to understand. If they are placed in an environment of continual positive affirmation of their views and opinions; people will assert those opinions more openly, more frequently and with more conviction: this is the gravitation to extremism. Now, was I talking about Nazi Germany, an Isis training camp, Boko Haram in Nigeria or perhaps your social media friends list? You may not be ready to strap on a suicide bomb and blow up a market, but your actions can be equally destructive. Recently, in a cover story for The Atlantic magazine, James Fallows explored the cost of our actions to the American military. You may not initially see the parallel, but our lack of engagement and polarized reactionary view point makes it easier to send them off to war. Our ability to "like" the VA or champion our troops in some comment thread, to trot them out at half time allows us to feel better about ourselves. It allows us to feel better about sending them off to assume our personnel risk, the risk associated with our collective decisions. It allows us to send them off to die, for decisions formed in an increasingly polarized and reactionary environment. Shouldn't we have talked about this first, at least considered it a little? Had a real debate? After 9/11 that would have been seen as weakness, Dis-loyal or just UN-American. There we go with the brands again, discounting the other side of the argument.

    Okay, so it is the politician's job to have that debate. The current political landscape is a reflection of our actions. It is polarized, not just between the parties, but also within them. Members of the same party are so diametrically opposed they cannot even come to a consensus. This has led to brinkmanship and an extremist style of politics exercised on an increasing frequent basis. In a world of extremes do you have to be more extreme just to get attention? You don't like that court decision, just get a few of your friends together on twitter and have a riot. That should help, they will all pay attention them.

    It is MLK week, and that is particularly relevant to this topic. His was a life defined with conflict, struggle and resolution. Was he engaged, did he assume the personnel risk of his actions and beliefs or were they passed on to others? That equality, that vote that he was fighting for is squandered if we give no more thought to a candidate than the brand on the ballot. It is squandered if we give no consideration to our opposition or their view, if we discount them with a label.

    As a student studying politics, I used to read the Financial Times. Investors need the facts to be able to form a position. There were plenty of other rags I could have chosen if I had just wanted affirmation of my political views but I was interested in the truth. In the Markets there are three main positions, Buy, Hold and Sell. We form these position based on the facts, we transition through them by listening to the arguments of the other side. The price is the resolution of conflict and risk is always immanent. The volatility in recent times is a failure of that function. The markets are becoming more irrational, more prone to extremes, reactionary and volatile. Could it be because we have changed; because we get so much of our fact from social media; because reaction is amplified by things like high frequency trading and instant news; because we no longer take the time to consider our position or the other side? We react and sort it out later in case we are wrong. Is that why we occasionally halt trading in some security or another?

    Seeking Alpha and other financial sites should market themselves as the bastions of truth: not only in financial matters but in all reporting. Give us the opportunity to form a position based on fact. Let us hold ourselves to a higher standard. I have nothing against social media in fact I am a big fan. I have nothing against guns until someone uses them to shoot up a school. It is the actions I have a problem with.

    It may feel like I am lecturing to you. I am not; in a lecture you learn something. I am simply trying to remind you of some things you may have forgotten. Are there some values that may have become obscured in a reactionary, extremist, society that allows us to spend so much of our time with our head in the Cloud?

    If there was one main take away from the State of the Union Speech last night, it should have been stop and think. Ask yourself what you want, what you believe in. Do not just react to the headlines is the same predictable way. Hold yourself accountable for your own opinions; don't make thinking someone else's job.

    Jan 21 10:47 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Military Power Around The Black Sea

    This data is provided as an adjunct to my recent article

    "The Markets Will Sink in Titanic Fashion." the map is a compilation of the data provided by Bonn International Center for Conversion. BICC produce the Global Militarization Index (GMI). BICC is able to objectively depict worldwide militarization for the first time. The GMI compares, for example, a country's military expenditure with its Gross Domestic Product (NYSE:GDP) and its health expenditure. I have labeled the countries with thier rank from memory, so appologies is I got anyone wrong.

    (click to enlarge)

    As you can see I have only focused on the area surrounding the Mediteranian and Black Sea as that is the focus of my article. Some other countries have been labeled for reference. The USA is ranked 31st. Below is a table of rankings, from most militarized to least, covering 151 countries world wide. For full details visit the BICC website.

    Israel    1
    Singapore    2
    Armenia    3
    Syria    4
    Russia    5
    Cyprus    6
    Korea, Republic of    7
    Jordan    8
    Greece    9
    Azerbaijan    10
    Belarus    11
    Kuwait    12
    Ukraine    13
    Brunei    14
    Mongolia    15
    Oman    16
    Finland    17
    Algeria    18
    Bahrain    19
    Saudi Arabia    20
    Estonia    21
    Vietnam    22
    Belize    23
    Turkey    24
    Lebanon    25
    Egypt    26
    Bulgaria    27
    Portugal    28
    Morocco    29
    Iran    30
    United States of America    31
    United Arab Emirates    32
    Serbia    33
    Norway    34
    Romania    35
    Denmark    36
    Chile    37
    Iraq    38
    Switzerland    39
    Macedonia    40
    Peru    41
    Thailand    42
    Ecuador    43
    South Sudan    44
    Angola    45
    Sri Lanka    46
    Georgia    47
    Yemen    48
    France    49
    Malaysia    50
    Botswana    51
    Montenegro    52
    Slovenia    53
    Kyrgyzstan    54
    Australia    55
    Paraguay    56
    United Kingdom    57
    Lithuania    58
    Colombia    59
    Croatia    60
    Namibia    61
    Hungary    62
    Qatar    63
    Austria    64
    Cambodia    65
    Pakistan    66
    Italy    67
    Uruguay    68
    Afghanistan    69
    Mauritania    70
    Bosnia and Herzegovina    71
    Kazakhstan    72
    Brazil    73
    Poland    74
    Moldova    75
    Tunisia    76
    El Salvador    77
    Latvia    78
    Guinea-Bissau    79
    Bolivia    80
    India    81
    Gabon    82
    Venezuela    83
    Spain    84
    Belgium    85
    Canada    86
    Germany    87
    Honduras    88
    China    89
    Slovakia    90
    Sweden    91
    Czech Republic    92
    Congo, Republic of    93
    Central African Republic    94
    Chad    95
    Japan    96
    Netherlands    97
    Indonesia    98
    New Zealand    99
    South Africa    100
    Luxembourg    101
    Burundi    102
    Nepal    103
    Nicaragua    104
    Argentina    105
    Guatemala    106
    Philippines    107
    Ireland    108
    Laos    109
    Uganda    110
    Libya    111
    Albania    112
    Cape Verde    113
    Zambia    114
    Guyana    115
    Mexico    116
    Rwanda    117
    Congo, Democratic Republic of the    118
    Togo    119
    Tanzania    120
    Fiji    121
    Dominican Republic    122
    Ethiopia    123
    Bangladesh    124
    Cameroon    125
    Cote D'Ivoire    126
    Senegal    127
    Kenya    128
    Mali    129
    Benin    130
    Mozambique    131
    Zimbabwe    132
    Nigeria    133
    Mauritius    134
    Jamaica    135
    Lesotho    136
    Burkina Faso    137
    Ghana    138
    Madagascar    139
    Malta    140
    Seychelles    141
    Niger    142
    Malawi    143
    Sierra Leone    144
    Timor-Leste    145
    Liberia    146
    Papua New Guinea    147
    Iceland    148
    Panama    149
    Costa Rica    150
    Haiti    151

    Dec 20 10:55 AM | Link | Comment!
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers


More »

Latest Comments

Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.