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Tim Plaehn

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  • The Ramifications of Growing Global Gas Guzzlers [View article]
    Looks like a good time to be selling cars in India and China!

    I took a look at the data and I do hate slanted reporting, so I will slant back. Cars averaged 22.5 mpg, but light trucks (includes most SUVs) average 18.0. Not to bad for the trucks.

    Heavy trucks drove 8% of the miles but used 25% of the fuel. Get out of those mass-transit buses and back into your 20 mpg SUV!

    It is difficult to believe that anyone believes that Americans will give up their cars, pickups and SUVs in mass and take the bus. Let politicians massively raise gas taxes and see how many of them have jobs after the next election.
    Jul 22 09:14 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Frontline Steers Well in Rough Waters [View article]
    VLCCs now earning $40k per day. FRO has daily expenses of about $32k per day. Things will be tight for a few quarters. BDI for dry freight and tanker companies are really different animals and using one to justify the other show little understanding of the market.
    Mar 4 10:22 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Northern Tier Energy To Stay Ahead Of Refinery MLP Peers For Rest Of 2013 [View article]
    Hal, the dividend policy is a full payout of distributable cash, which will vary from quarter to quarter. The stock being sold has already been issued, it is just not publicly traded. NTI is a limited partnership which functions under a different set of rules than corporations. I find that once you understand how LPs work, they tend to be more open than corporations.
    Aug 20 06:27 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Signals From Brookfield Infrastructure Partners [View article]
    BIP is in Chile and Brazil, two of the more foreign company friendly countries. Take over problems are currently more of an issue in Argentina and Bolivia.

    A word on South American toll roads. The major nice highways are almost always toll roads and the alternatives are either non-existent or heavily congested city surface streets. And the tolls are increased like clockwork every 6 months.
    Mar 4 02:39 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REITs: Why The Dividends Are A Mirage [View article]
    Alex, one question. In your world, how does a REIT raise capital to buy more properties or other investments?

    OK, another question. If a REIT takes capital and invests it in a property or mortgage investment and the income from that property is then paid to investors as dividends, how is the capital then paid off to investors if it was spent on the new investments?
    Mar 4 09:45 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Companies Projecting Strong Dividend Growth In 2013 [View article]
    Hard to find something new with Kinder Morgan. They tell you what they are going to do and then they do it.
    Feb 6 06:30 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Surprise Cash Infusion Turns 2013 Into A Reset Year For Navios Maritime Holdings [View article]
    The drybulk shippers have been fighting a terrible market for close to 4 years. Hopefully I pointed out the risks here, but Navios appear to have found some level of stability which will let it profit nicely if charter rates manage to turn around in the next couple of years.
    Nov 27 04:31 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Argentina Takes Step To Take Over Oil Company YPF S.A. [View article]
    Later news has the different governments of Argentina holding 51%. The national gov would have 29% and the rest with the provinces. The Peterson Group - closely tied to the Madam President's family = would retain their current 30% or so. There would be a free float of about 20% of the company.

    The question is which shareholders give up the 51% with little or no compensation? And would anyone think any free cash flow would escape the government coffers? Doubtful.
    Apr 17 08:27 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Argentina: Ready for a Rebound? [View article]
    I live across the river from Buenos Aires and I would not think of investing in Argentina. Any sector that shows reasonable profits will get hit by new taxes. The largest soybean producers are at something like a 90% marginal tax rate. 10 of 16 banks catering to high net worth investors are relocating their BA offices to Montevideo or Miami due to new taxes. The current government is not very business friendly, except for the President and her husband who owns half of Patagonia.
    May 31 08:57 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Baltic Dry Index Up 11 Days in a Row: Should You Care? [View article]
    Shipping rates are improving because users of commodities, primarily iron ore to China are realizing that low commodity prices plus reasonable shipping rates equals a very attractive landed cost. Low commodity prices are actually helping shipping costs at this time.
    May 16 08:11 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Look Who's Buying Natural Gas Now [View article]
    "and now has convinced itself the recession is over… despite the fact the White House’s chief economist does not expect positive job growth until 2010."

    Historically job growth does not resume until well after a recession ends (6 to 12 months) so both parts of the selected text above can be correct. Employers will not add employees until their businesses are growing again. Employment lags recovery.

    This article is well written and informative, but sounds like a short got burned over the last month.
    May 12 09:36 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Atlas Pipeline Partners: A Painful Lesson in MLP Investing [View article]
    Very good analysis. I echo your thoughts on APL. In this market it is hard to tell if a company is really in trouble or just part of the general sell off. I was encouraged by the Q4 news.
    Mar 6 08:48 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Wrongly Undervaluing Kinder Morgan Energy Partners [View article]
    I was going to mention KMR, but ran out of words. Just kidding. KMR is a nice, alternative way in invest in KMP.
    Dec 26 03:25 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Northern Tier Energy To Stay Ahead Of Refinery MLP Peers For Rest Of 2013 [View article]
    Phillip, I am not hard crunching numbers because there are too many possible variables. I look at a $0.65 second quarter distribution with the refinery closed for a month and tighter spreads than over the previous three quarters. However, NTI was able to maintain a higher spread than the other refining MLPs, quite possibly due to the company's multiple oil source channels. So unless there are drastic changes in the prices of oil, gasoline or diesel fuel, with full time production NTI should produce at least a $1 per quarter distribution. Some things work in their favor, it could be $1.25 or higher.
    Aug 29 06:35 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Northern Tier Energy To Stay Ahead Of Refinery MLP Peers For Rest Of 2013 [View article]
    It is my opinion that the share prices of these variable distribution MLPs will cycle significantly. Picking tops and bottoms are tough for most, but there is no reason that NTI will stay down at the current price level. I expect the dividends to be between $2 and $3 for the second half, which is a pretty large spread and if the number falls near the higher end of the range, the stock price will get back close to $30.

    After reading a lot of MLP prospectii, I have noticed that the ownership and unit structures of these companies are almost always much more complicated than with corporations. The PIK example with NTI is a good example. This class of shares was issued so that the dividends paid to regular unit holders would not conflict with the covenants of the senior note. As soon as management knew there would not be a cash flow issue, the PIKs were cancelled.
    Aug 28 10:52 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment