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May 27, 2015, 10:26 AM
- The five-year outperformance of oil refining stocks will continue, Oppenheimer says as it upgrades HollyFrontier (HFC -0.4%), Marathon Petroleum (MPC +0.2%), Phillips 66 (PSX -0.3%) and Tesoro (TSO -0.4%) to Outperform from Market Perform and reiterates an Outperform rating for Valero (VLO -1%).
- The firm says its bullish outlook is supported by favorable fundamentals, including a wide crude differential, low natural gas prices and growing refined product exports; refining valuations remain attractive even given strong stock performance since 2010, as share buybacks, reduced debt and growing dividends mean valuations could extend further.
- Fadel Gheit and his analyst team forecast a Brent-WTI differential of $4-$8, which they consider a "huge competitive advantage to U.S. refiners with processing flexibility."
- Oppy's respective stock price targets for HFC, MPC, PSX, TSO and VLO are $50, $120, $95, $105 and $70.
May 13, 2015, 4:44 PM
- HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) declares $0.33/share quarterly dividend, 3.1% increase from prior dividend of $0.32.
- Forward yield 3.17%
- Payable June 26; for shareholders of record June 5; ex-div June 3.
May 7, 2015, 11:49 AM
- HollyFrontier (HFC +3.7%) is upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $49 price target, raised from $40, at RBC, which cites improving operation execution, a new drop strategy and a large new buyback program.
- The firm likes HFC's new drop strategy in which it will build out new refining projects and then drop a portion to Holly Energy Partners (NYSE:HEP) to cover the costs; the new drop strategy of using its MLP to fund new refining capital projects will prove to be accretive going forward, RBC says.
- The firm says it no longer sees HFC as strictly a name that trades around the WTI-Brent spread, and now sees a true investment case to be made.
May 6, 2015, 7:03 AM
- HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC): Q1 EPS of $1.16 beats by $0.38.
- Revenue of $3B (-37.4% Y/Y) beats by $500M.
May 5, 2015, 5:30 PM
- ANSS, ARQL, ATHM, AVA, AYR, BAM, BUD, CEQP, CHH, CHK, CKSW, CLH, CMLP, CRNT, CRZO, CSTE, DAVE, DDD, DNR, EE, EGAN, ENB, EXK, GDP, GLOG, HAIN, HCLP, HFC, HSC, HSNI, HTA, IMN, INFI, KELYA, LAMR, LG, LINC, MEMP, MPO, MSI, MWE, NOR, NXTM, OXY, PERI, PGNX, POWR, RDC, RHP, SBGI, SCMP, SE, SNH, SODA, STRA, SUP, SWC, TMHC, TRXC, VG, VOYA, VSI, WCG, WD, WEN, WIX, WMC, WPX, XLS, XRAY
Apr. 21, 2015, 7:30 PM
- There’s not much value to be found in the stock market by traditional metrics, but the equity strategists at Jefferies think they’ve found five companies that are still bargains.
- The firm cites HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC), Reliance Steel (NYSE:RS) and Universal (NYSE:UVV) as three value picks whose assets are at least double their liabilities, their long-term debt is less than their working capital, each has enjoyed positive earnings growth the past five years and made consecutive dividend payouts over the past decade, and their P-E ratio is less than 15x over the past 10 years, among other criteria.
- Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) and Tidewater (NYSE:TDW) are seen as more aggressive value picks, meaning their current ratio of assets to liabilities is higher than 1.5x, long-term debt is less than 110% of working capital, and current price-to-book ratio is 1.2x.
- “Investors ought to be mindful that the market is no longer inexpensive,” the Jefferies strategists sum up.
Apr. 10, 2015, 5:17 PM
- The EPA agrees to issue final biofuel quotas for 2014 and 2015 under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard by Nov. 30 in a tentative settlement of an energy industry lawsuit which had challenged EPA delays in establishing the mandates.
- Refiners and biofuel producers have complained that the EPA's repeated delays in setting renewable fuel use requirements have led to uncertainty and volatility in biofuel markets.
- Refiners are required under the RFS to blend a certain amount of biofuels into gasoline and diesel based on the targets established by the EPA; potentially relevant tickers include VLO, TSO, PBF, PSX, ALJ, MPC, WNR, HFC, CVI.
- Biofuels producers also crave the certainty and market demand guaranteed by the annual targets, but they believe the EPA should not back down from setting aggressive renewable fuel quotas; potentially relevant tickers include REGI, FF, AMRS, GEVO, CDTI, SZYM, OTCPK:KIORQ.
Mar. 27, 2015, 5:38 PM
Mar. 18, 2015, 3:24 PM
- Crude oil prices, in the doldrums yet again after U.S. inventories hit record highs for a 10th week and supplies at the futures' Cushing delivery hub hit a peak, turned around to finish higher following the Fed policy statement.
- Nymex crude rose 2.5% to settle at $44.66/bbl, pushing off earlier lows of $42.25 and the lowest intraday level since March 2009; Brent is up 4.5% at nearly $56.
- The gain could prove only a momentary recovery, however, as "speculation is going to grow about operational capacity being hit in Cushing and what that portends for prices,” according to Again Capital John Kilduff, adding that he sees U.S.crude testing $40 soon.
- U.S. refiners are enjoying big gains as the Brent/WTI spread surpasses $11: TSO +5.1%, CLMT +4.7%, CVI +4.8%, HFC +4.6%, MUR +4.5%, WNR +4.4%, VLO +3.9%, RDS.A +3.9%, CVRR +3.7%, MPC +3.3%, PSX +3.2%, ALJ +3.2%.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, BNO, DTO, DBO, UWTI, USL, DWTI, DNO, SZO, OLO, TWTI, OLEM
Feb. 28, 2015, 5:11 PM
- Despite HollyFrontier's (NYSE:HFC) lackuster Q4, which was largely expected given the extended El Dorado downtime, the tide appears to be turning for HFC, Deutsche Bank says.
- "Operational reliability is improving, with a light maintenance schedule for 2015. Mid-con refining margins are robust, with the Brent-WTI spread, contango benefit, and WCS profitability attractive and likely to widen further in the coming months."
- "Improved execution will need to be demonstrated, and growth catalysts remain somewhat underwhelming for now, but the outlook is clearly much brighter."
- Firm expects HFC to ramp up buyback activity in 2015, "aligning better with the rest of peers’ yield proposition (aggressive buybacks and regular yield)."
- Deutsche has a Hold recommendation and a $53 price target. Implied upside 20.5%.
Feb. 25, 2015, 7:03 AM
- HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC): Q4 EPS of $0.12 misses by $0.10.
- Revenue of $4.28B (-11.4% Y/Y) beats by $810M.
Feb. 24, 2015, 5:30 PM
Feb. 19, 2015, 11:31 AM
- Valero Energy (VLO +1.5%) is upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $70 price target, raised from $60, at Deutsche Bank, driven by stronger than expected U.S. product demand, inventory-driven WTI differentials, and a Gulf coast that is "awash in crude optionality."
- The firm expects H1 2015 to be “much stronger” for the entire refining industry than in its 2015 outlook, specifically pointing to VLO's Gulf coast operations as a strong point for the company based on widened crude differentials.
- Although a rising tide is lifting all boats, Deutsche Bank sees the greatest benefit accruing to those with meaningful Gulf coast flexibility, including Marathon Petroleum (MPC +0.3%) as well as VLO, and leverage to widening Brent-WTI differentials, such as HollyFrontier (HFC -3.3%).
- At the same time, DB downgrades Delek US Holdings (DK -3%) to Hold from Buy.
Feb. 19, 2015, 9:53 AM
- HollyFrontier (HFC -1.5%) says its board has authorized a new $500M share repurchase program, using funds that had previously been allocated to its $0.50/share special dividend; the regular dividend of $0.32/share remains unchanged.
- Cutting the special dividend is no surprise given the compression of the Brent/WTI spread vs. when HFC initiated the special dividend in 2011, Wells Fargo writes as it reiterates its Market Perform rating on the stock; HFC likely will be in a negative net free cash flow position in 2015, so it was on an unsustainable path supporting both a regular and special dividend and a share repurchase program, the firm says.
Feb. 18, 2015, 4:36 PM
- HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) declares $0.32/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 3.06%
- Payable March 24; for shareholders of record March 10; ex-div March 6.
Jan. 20, 2015, 8:45 PM
- Venezuela’s Citgo Petroleum reportedly has called off its sale process and instead plans a debt sale to raise $2.5B for the cash-strapped country.
- The U.S. oil refining and marketing unit of PdVSA, which operates three oil refineries with a combined 760K bbl/day in processing capacity as well as networks of pipelines and fuel distribution terminals in the eastern U.S., was expected to fetch $8B-$11B in a sale, but plunging crude oil prices have pressured the country, which already had been facing cash flow problems, making a debt sale more attractive as a quicker source of cash.
- The Citgo auction drew interest from U.S. refiners Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) and Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) as well as P-E firms.
HollyFrontier Corp is an independent petroleum refiner. It produces high-value light products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, specialty lubricant products, and specialty and modified asphalt. It operates in two segments; Refining and HEP.
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