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Jan. 10, 2014, 2:40 PM
- Chevron's (CVX -1.9%) earnings guidance isn't impressing investors; it expects Q4 profit to be "comparable" with Q3 when it posted net income of $4.95B, but analyst consensus had estimated Q4 to come in at $5.69B.
- Unlike last year, when CVX’s refining business was a drag on earnings while its upstream business was strong, now refining is providing the boost - good news for Exxon Mobil (XOM +0.1%) and refiners, Morgan Stanley says.
- MS thinks most U.S. refiners will show a Q/Q improvement in capture rates, helping XOM more than CVX due to its significantly more absolute North American refining capacity; marketing margins also are improving sharply, a positive indicator for refiners with retail operations such as Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Tesoro (TSO), Phillips 66 (PSX), Western Refining (WNR) and Delek US (DK).
Jan. 8, 2014, 2:45 PM
- A potential collapse this year in domestic crude prices could push refiners higher, including Phillips 66 (PSX -0.3%) and PBF Energy (PBF +0.7%), Howard Weil says.
- "From a global perspective, macro [refining & marketing] dynamics are improving into ’14 with significant crude supply growth placing a theoretical ceiling on oil prices/feedstock costs while underlying demand growth remains intact, thereby supporting product prices," the firm writes.
- However, the firm endorses a slight tactical shift toward more defensive posturing with a focus on lower beta names and companies that screen at a discount from a valuation perspective, thus it cuts Delek US (DK -3.4%) and Tesoro (TSO -2%) to Sector Perform and raises PSX and PBF to Sector Outperform.
- Noble Energy (NBL -0.2%), Whiting Petroleum (WLL -0.2%) and Concho Resources (CXO -1.3%) are upgraded to Focus Stock.
Dec. 31, 2013, 3:56 PM
- The energy sector - especially refiners - leads the stock market higher today even as crude oil trades lower, with Phillips 66 (PSX +3.2%) contributing to the strength after Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire its flow improver business (I, II).
- Berkshire's acquisition would seem to point to the next logical step for Warren Buffett’s empire building in the energy sector: investing in pipelines and, at the other end, the refineries that stand to benefit most from them.
- Today's refining stalwarts: VLO +3.7%, MPC +3.8%, HFC +2%, TSO +3.4%, WNR +3.1%, CVI +2.9%, ALJ +2.8%, NTI +2.8%.
Dec. 20, 2013, 3:18 PM
- Shrinking crude spreads - WTI has gained 7.2% while Brent has risen just 1.7% so far in December - likely will hold back refiners during the first six months of 2014, Cowen's Sam Margolin says.
- Extremely favorable refining conditions from last month are deteriorating amid higher utilization and continued reduction in crude imports, limiting supply and causing U.S. prices to melt higher, the firm explains, adding that investors need to "manage near-term expectations" while "remain(ing) constructive on the refining story for 2014."
- Margolin keeps Outperform ratings for Western Refining (WNR +4%), Marathon Petroleum (MPC +2.6%), Tesoro (TSO +0.4%), Valero (VLO +1.4%) and PBF Energy (PBF +1.7%); HollyFrontier (HFC +2.4%), Delek (DK +2.3%), Northern Tier (NTI +0.6%), Alon USA (ALJ +1.7%) and Calumet Specialty Products (CLMT +3.8%).
Dec. 11, 2013, 12:52 PM
- Tesoro (TSO -1.8%) apparently didn't offer enough good news at yesterday's analyst day, as shares tumble despite the general perception from the meeting as "incrementally positive."
- The key messages in the meeting surrounded progress of the synergy capture from the Carson acquisition, continued margin improvement through feedstock and product optimization and driving additional logistics growth.
- TSO sees rail unloading capacity along the U.S. west coast for North Dakota crude oil growing to nearly 1M bbl/day through 2015; TSO's $100M rail-to-barge project in Washington is the largest of the offloading projects announced so far.
- Imperial Capital raises its TSO price target TSO to $63 from $57, and Howard Weil lifts its target to $66 from $62.
- Other refiners are lower too: VLO -1.3%, PSX -0.7%, MPC -1.8%, WNR -2.6%, HFC -1.6%, ALJ -1%, NTI -0.2%, DK -1.9%, CLMT -2.7%.
Dec. 9, 2013, 10:47 AM
- J.P. Morgan is the latest investment banker to turn bullish on refiners, upgrading HollyFrontier (HFC +2%), Valero Energy (VLO +1.8%) and Marathon Petroleum (MPC +0.9%) on its expectation for a larger difference between Brent and West Texas oil prices.
- The firm revises its view on oil prices, forecasting Brent prices averaging $105.50/bbl for 2014 and $100.30 for 2015 vs. WTI prices of $91.50/bbl for 2014 and $85.30 for 2015, suggesting a $14-$15 differential, which should increase U.S. refining margins.
- In particular, the firm believes HFC's inland refining system is "well positioned to benefit from growth in production of disadvantaged inland North American crudes, and expect(s) HFC to capture Brent-WTI price differentials as higher gross margins across the majority of its throughput."
- HFC is upgraded to Overweight from Underweight, VLO and MPC are raised to Neutral from Underweight, and Phillips 66 (PSX +1.5%) and Tesoro (TSO +1.2%) are maintained at Overweight.
Nov. 18, 2013, 4:35 PM
- Tesoro Logisitcs (TLLP) agrees to acquire Tesoro's (TSO) Los Angeles Logistics Assets, consisting of two marine terminals, a marine storage terminal, a products terminal, a petroleum coke handling and storage facility, more than 100 miles of active crude oil and refined products pipelines, and other related properties, for $650M.
- To pay for the deal, TLLP announces a public offering of 6.3M common units.
- Shares -3.6% AH.
Nov. 14, 2013, 2:36 PM
- Refiners such as Marathon Petroleum (MPC +4.9%) and Valero (VLO +4%) are surging today, and Barron's Ben Levisohn says it’s all about the oil spread.
- While Brent crude has stayed steady for the last three months, trading at ~$109/bbl, WTI has dropped 12% to ~$94; the more expensive Brent is relative to WTI, the better it is for U.S. refiners.
- VLO, for example, has gained 17% during the past three months, and much of its price has followed the Brent-WTI spread.
- Also: PSX +2.1%, TSO +2.7%, HFC +3.2%, WNR +4.3%, ALJ +5.2%, ALDW +1.3%, CLMT +2.6%, CVI +1.3%.
Nov. 8, 2013, 12:38 PM
- The price of West Texas crude has dropped nearly 9% during the past month, and Credit Suisse thinks it’s time for investors to take another look at refiners, particularly Tesoro (TSO +1.2%).
- TSO's "Northern Mid-Con and Pacific North-West are among the best positioned in U.S. refining, with a decade of free cashflow ahead," the firm writes, adding that west coast results demonstrate TSO’s above average asset quality which Carson synergies will cement further.
- The firm upgrades Calumet Specialty Products (CLMT +1.8%) to Neutral from Underperform as "the themes which drove expected underperformance have now become more visible"; Western Refining (WNR +0.3%) and Delek US (DK -1%) are "interesting."
Nov. 7, 2013, 2:28 PM
- Tesoro (TSO +2.3%) is one of few energy companies gaining ground today, despite Q3 earnings that fell 77% Y/Y and came up short of analyst estimates.
- Gross margins in the quarter fell to $9.22/bbl vs. $19.67/bbl for the year-earlier period; a smaller discount on benchmark WTI crude relative to international crude also had an effect in the midcontinent.
- However, revenues jumped 41.5% to $11.24B from $7.94B a year ago, attributable to improved throughput and better performance by the retail segment.
- CEO Greg Goff says TSO remains focused on executing its strategic plan, citing improved refinery run rates which rose to 863K bbl/day vs. 548K a year ago; throughput volumes in California surged 114% Y/Y to 557K bbl/day.
Oct. 17, 2013, 5:42 PM
Oct. 11, 2013, 11:46 AM
- Refiners continue to rise a day after news of a leaked EPA proposal that would significantly scale back biofuel blending requirements next year.
- The EPA's rationale for a cut in the volume of ethanol that must be blended echoes an argument the oil industry has made for months: The U.S. fuel chain cannot absorb more ethanol.
- Let the lawsuits begin: "Any plan to roll back the targets... under the guise of addressing the blend wall would be patently unlawful," says the head of the Renewable Fuels Association.
- TSO +4.4%, VLO +3.4%, PSX +3.1%, MPC +2.2%, WNR +4.5%, HFC +2.2%, ALJ +6.8%, CVI +2.6%, NTI +2%, DK +7.8%, CLMT +1.8%.
Oct. 10, 2013, 2:18 PM
- Chevron (CVX -0.4%) is lower after warning "significantly lower" earnings from its refining division would send Q3 EPS down Q/Q.
- J.P. Morgan believes investors were anticipating relatively soft downstream results given the currently weak refining margin environment; perhaps that's why refiners are holding up very well today: VLO +4.4%, TSO +3.7%, PSX +2.3%, ALJ +6.7%, MPC +4.5%, WNR +3.7%, HFC +4.2%, CVI +4.6%.
- Citigroup worries about CVX's upstream business too; it was expecting a much larger increase in Q3 production which would put CVX on track to meet its full year guidance of 2,650M boe/day.
Oct. 7, 2013, 2:47 PM
- Refining stocks are lower as HollyFrontier (HFC -0.7%) is hit with a downgrade from Imperial Capital, which dropped its rating to In-Line from Outperform, reduces its price target to $41 from $49, and cuts its 2013 EPS estimate to $3.83 from $4.83 and 2014 EPS estimate to $3.50 from $4.00.
- The firm sees continued contraction in refining margins and crude price differentials, especially as the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline commences operation later this month.
- Other refiners: VLO -0.6%, TSO -0.8%, MPC -1.4%, PSX -1.5%, WNR -1.4%, ALJ -2.5%, CVI -2.5%.
Oct. 2, 2013, 3:26 PM
- It's a pretty good day for refiners, even as most energy stocks slip, as Phillips 66 (PSX +2.1%), Valero (VLO +1.2%), Tesoro (TSO +0.2%), Western Refining (WNR +1.2%), Marathon Petroleum (MPC +1.2%) and HollyFrontier (HFC +0.4%) all post gains.
- PSX rises the most among energy companies in the S&P 500 after announcing a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend, VLO and TSO are upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup (I, II), and WNR rolls out a 12.5M-share IPO of its logistics unit.
- Refiners generally have come in for criticism recently; Barclays, for one, believes most refiners will miss consensus earnings expectations by a wide margin, with VLO the exception.
- ETFs: IEO, IEZ, IYE, PXE, PXI, XES, XLE, XOP, VDE, RYE, FXN, OIH, PXJ, PSCE, ERX, DIG, ERY, DUG, DDG.
Sep. 9, 2013, 2:23 PM
- Refiners (PXE, RYE, IOIL) are broadly underperforming the rest of the energy sector today after a Simmons downgrade to Neutral from Overweight, expecting continuing challenges to EPS and refining margins in Q3 and into 2014 after a dismal Q2.
- Individual stocks lowered by the firm: Marathon Petroleum (MPC -1.5%), Tesoro (TSO -0.6%), Delek US (DK -1.3%), Alon USA (ALJ -0.5%), CVR Energy (CVI -1.8%), CVR Partners (CVRR -1.2%).
- HollyFrontier (HFC -1.8%) breaks down to fresh multi-week lows after a downgrade from Morgan Stanley.
- Also, Barclays says at its Energy-Power conference that it believes most refiners will miss current consensus expectations by a wide margin, with Valero (VLO +0.7%) the exception (Briefing.com).
Tesoro Corp is an independent petroleum refiner and marketer in the United States. Its subsidiaries operate through three business segments, transport crude oil and manufacture, transport and sell transportation fuels.
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