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Nov. 23, 2015, 11:32 AM
- Phillips 66 (PSX +0.2%) is downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which believes elevated share prices in the group now make stock picking critical when it comes to refiners.
- Goldman says it continues to believe refiners will benefit from strong gasoline demand, capital returns to shareholders and favorable capture rates due to low oil prices, but is more concerned about tighter inland crude differentials, MLP-related upside and potential oversupply in the diesel markets.
- The firm says Valero Energy (VLO +1%) is its top pick in the group, while also upgrading PBF Energy (PBF +3.3%) to Buy from Neutral; it also likes Marathon Petroleum (MPC +0.7%) and Delek US Holdings (DK +1.2%).
Nov. 20, 2015, 9:58 AM
- MarkWest Hydrocarbon founders John Fox and Brian O'Neill say they will vote against a merger of MarkWest Energy (MWE -1.2%) and MPLX (MPLX -2.1%).
- Fox already has expressed his views, and O'Neill now says he is in "100% agreement" with Fox, adding "MWE has spent more than $10B in capital expenditures over the previous five years, which means MPLX and its owner, Marathon Petroleum (MPC +0.5%), are merely refunding MWE's unitholders and leaving a small premium for their efforts."
- At the same time, MWE announces that the Glass Lewis and Egan Jones proxy advisory firms recommend shareholders vote for the merger.
- Earlier: MarkWest says ISS recommends investors vote for deal with MPLX (Nov. 19)
Nov. 18, 2015, 11:57 AM
- MarkWest Energy Partners (MWE +2.4%) says the ISS proxy advisory firm recommends MWE unitholders vote in favor of the combination of MWE with MPLX (MPLX -3.3%).
- The ISS recommendation cites "the premium to the unaffected price at announcement, the subsequent cash increases in the merger consideration, and the strategic advantages of the combination - including both the access to relatively more certain capital sources at a lower cost of capital and the ability to de-risk certain growth opportunities" with Marathon Petroleum (MPC +1.1%) as its parent.
- Separately, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors discloses a 5.7% active stake in MWE.
Nov. 17, 2015, 8:24 AM
- Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) again raises the cash portion of its cash and stock offer for MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE:MWE), hoping to clinch its proposed takeover.
- MPC, which has agreed to buy MWE through its MPLX pipeline unit, says it will now offer $6.20/unit, up from $5.21 offered last week.
- The latest offer, which MPC and MPLX say represents the best and final offer, nearly doubles the cash portion of the offer from the $3.37/unit offered in July when the deal was reached.
- MWE +2.7% premarket.
Nov. 12, 2015, 11:59 AM
- Former MarkWest Energy (MWE -5.1%) Chairman and CEO John Fox reaffirms his opposition to the company's proposed merger with MPLX (MPLX -1.2%), urging fellow unitholders to withhold their proxies or vote no.
- Fox says Marathon Petroleum's (MPC -2.2%) $1.84/unit cash increase "does not materially change the fundamentals of the deal. The revised $52.93/unit implied deal terms based on MPLX's closing price on Nov. 10 is still 33% below the initial implied deal terms outlined in July."
- Earlier: Former MarkWest CEO aims to stop merger with MPLX (Nov. 4)
Nov. 10, 2015, 5:34 PM
- Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) says it is raising the cash portion of its offer to buy MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE:MWE) by $400M to $1.075B from $675M.
- MPC, which is seeking to acquire MWE through its MPLX pipeline unit, says it will now offer $5.21/unit in cash, up from the $3.37 it offered in July.
- MPC says MWE unitholders would continue to get 1.09 MPLX units for each share held, for total consideration of ~$52.93 per MWE common unit.
Nov. 4, 2015, 8:30 AM
- Former MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE:MWE) CEO John Fox says he will oppose Marathon Petroleum's (NYSE:MPC) proposed $15.6B acquisition of the company through its MPLX pipeline unit.
- Fox, who owns 1.4M MWE units, writes in an open letter that MWE should remain a standalone company to avoid a significant cut in shareholder distributions, as cash available for distribution would be reduced by obligations to make incentive distribution payments to MPC.
- Also: MarkWest Energy Partners misses by $0.03, misses on revenue
Oct. 29, 2015, 2:58 PM
- Marathon Petroleum (MPC +2.2%) is higher after a slight Q3 earnings miss is overshadowed by improved refining margins and growth in its retail and pipeline businesses.
- CEO Gary Heminger says he agrees with the “lower for longer" belief in low oil prices but expects refining spreads to remain favorable, with more crude coming from the Gulf of Mexico and countries such as Iraq and Mexico to offset some of the onshore U.S. slowdown.
- However, MPC says it will cancel its planned $2.5B expansion at its Garyville, La., refinery because of a weaker global demand for distillate.
- The CEO reiterates support for the pending acquisition by MPC's pipelines-focused MLP, MPLX, of MarkWest Energy to create one off the largest MLPs, arguing that MPC is ahead of the curve of upcoming MLP consolidations; he says the deal will close by the end of the year.
Oct. 29, 2015, 7:57 AM
- Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC): Q3 EPS of $1.76 misses by $0.06.
- Revenue of $18.76B (-26.4% Y/Y) misses by $1.36B.
Oct. 28, 2015, 5:30 PM
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Oct. 21, 2015, 2:56 PM
- Citi analyst Faisel Khan downgrades some U.S. refiner stocks, believing that narrowing differentials resulting from recent pipeline expansions and production slowdowns in the U.S. will continue to weigh on refiner margins in the near future.
- The firm’s latest forecast calls for a Brent-WTI differential of only $4.50/bbl, much lower than the previous forecast of $8/bbl.
- Khan cuts ratings for HollyFrontier (HFC -0.4%), Western Refining (WNR -1.6%), CVR Refining (CVRR +0.3%), Alon USA Partners (ALDW +2.4%) and Northern Tier Energy (NTI -2.2%) to Neutral from Buy.
- But the firm maintains its Buy rating on Phillips 66 (PSX -0.5%), Marathon Petroleum (MPC -0.8%) and Valero Energy (VLO -0.6%), which Khan says have diversified their revenue streams into pipelines, gas processing or chemicals.
Oct. 7, 2015, 5:37 PM
- Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) is out and Frank's International (NYSE:FI) is in, praising FI's “self-help improvements with a good underlying business.” as Credit Suisse analysts update their top energy stock picks in 10 different subsectors.
- Credit Suisse names Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) as its favorite oil and gas E&P stock, which should ultimately outperform despite near-term oil price risk “given its defensive valuation, top quartile oil growth profile, and further accretion potential from EnLink."
- Top independent refiner is Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), as the firm believes the synergy of the company’s recently-acquired Hess retail business is exceeding plans, and it is confident MPC will continue to benefit from self-help initiatives.
- Among MLPs, Genesis Energy (NYSE:GEL) is defensive in terms of its direct exposure to commodity price weakness and offensive in terms of the distribution growth expected following its recent acquisition of offshore assets from Enterprise Products Partners.
- Other subsector favorites:MRO, PDCE, EURN, SCTY
Sep. 23, 2015, 5:59 PM
- MPLX +4.8% AH following the disclosure that its Marathon Pipe Line unit has amended its existing Patoka, Ill., tank farm storage services agreement with Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) to increase available shell capacity to 2.626M barrels from 1.386M barrels due to the addition of four new tanks at the facility.
- Under the agreement, MPC pays a monthly fee to store crude oil at the Patoka tank farm, regardless of whether all contractual capacity is fully utilized.
Sep. 21, 2015, 6:52 PM
- Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) headline Goldman Sachs' list of 25 companies that could post outsized returns even as more and more stocks are moving in lock-step.
- Goldman’s picks come as return dispersion - the performance gap among stocks - has sunk lately amid turmoil in China and concerns about when the Fed will raise interest rates that has pushed stock correlations to their highest level since 2011.
- Given the low-dispersion setting, Goldman says investors should focus on these 25 stocks that have high “dispersion scores” and 15%-plus upside to the firm’s targets: WYNN, VIAB, DLTR, UAL, LUV, URBN, CBG, JNPR, MPC, NFLX, HBI, SIG, CRM, CERN, VLO, KMX, ENDP, CTSH, ISRG, ETFC, TSN, CCE, CI, REGN, GT
Sep. 15, 2015, 12:56 PM
- House Republicans plan to vote later this month on a bill to lift the 40-year-old U.S. ban on crude oil exports, a move that would please oil companies lobbying Congress but potentially rattle global oil markets already facing volatility and lower prices.
- More than a dozen oil companies including Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), have pushed Congress to lift the ban, arguing that unrestrained U.S. oil exports would eliminate market distortions, streamline U.S. production and boost the economy.
- Some refiners focused on the domestic market such as Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Valero (NYSE:VLO) and Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and consumer interest groups oppose the move, saying it would raise gasoline prices.
- Energy stocks are mostly higher today as crude oil rebounds from recent declines.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM
Aug. 26, 2015, 11:25 AM
- Marathon Petroleum (MPC +0.3%) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral with a $61 price target at J.P. Morgan, which calls MPC "a high quality story, with a favorable business mix of refining/logistics/retail and refining geographic mix."
- MPC is well positioned to benefit from market volatility because of its fully integrated systems, the firm says, adding that over the longer term it likes MPC’s refining geographic mix, given its exposure to Mid-Continent and Gulf coast regions.
- MPC enjoyed a quick 8% jump when the MPLX/MWE deal was announced, but the firm says the recent decline in the share price implies that “little to no credit is now being given for the deal in MPC’s shares, either because of fears that the deal won’t close or that MPC will have to contribute more cash."
Marathon Petroleum Corp is a supplier of gasoline and distillates to resellers and consumers. Its refining, marketing and transportation operations are concentrated in the Midwest, Gulf Coast and Southeast regions of the U.S.
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