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Dec. 21, 2015, 5:47 PM
- Northern Tier Energy (NYSE:NTI) +9.1% AH after Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) agrees to acquire the ~62% of the company it does not already own in a revised offer that values NTI at $2.43B.
- NTI unitholders will now receive $15/share in cash and 0.2986 of a share of WNR for each unit held; in October, WNR offered $17.50/share in cash and 0.2266 of a share for each NTI unit.
- The companies say the merger will result in a diversified refining asset base with three top tier refineries that have direct pipeline access to advantaged crude oil basins, and that the deal includes increased flexibility to sell NTI traditional logistics assets to Western Refining Logistics (NYSE:WNRL).
Dec. 16, 2015, 12:13 PM
- Congress has agreed to lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, but refiners are holding up well as the group wins a tax break on the cost of transporting oil as part of the deal.
- The tax provision meant to blunt potential damage to domestic refiners of allowing unfettered crude exports would allow non-integrated refiners to count 75% of their oil transportation costs toward an existing manufacturing tax deduction.
- Refiners are "positioned to succeed regardless,” says Carl Larry, head of oil and gas for Frost & Sullivan. “They can still make products cheaper than anywhere in the world... Regardless of whether the U.S. exports crude, they’ll be ahead of the game.”
- Wells Fargo contends that lifting the ban will have only a minimal impact in the short term, and notes that Phillips 66 (PSX +1.6%) has indicated lifting the move would have no material impact at least for one year; Valero Energy (VLO +1.2%) is better positioned than most because it already relies on a larger percentage of foreign oil for its feedstock to make gasoline and other petroleum products, says Simmons analyst Jeff Dietert.
- Also: TSO +2.5%, MPC +0.9%, HFC +2.4%, PBF +1.6%, WNR +4.9%, NTI +1.6%, ALJ +1%, CLMT -2.2%.
- Earlier: Solar stocks soar as Congress proposes extending solar/wind tax credits
Dec. 4, 2015, 12:41 PM
- Credit Suisse analyst Edward Westlake says favorable market conditions that drove the oil refining business this year will carry over into next year, making many refiner stocks strong buys.
- Global gasoline demand grew at 3x its historical rate in 2015, and while consensus expectations for gasoline demand predict a regression closer to the long-term trend in 2016, Westlake sees at least another year of strong demand growth remaining.
- The analyst says he has been surprised at Q4 performance so far , and predicts a 2016 environment conducive to earnings strength, especially among coastal names.
- Credit Suisse has Outperform ratings on these refiners: VLO +1.6%, NTI +0.5%, CLMT +1.5%, MPC +3%, TSO +1.2%, ALDW -2.3%, WNR +1.6%, PBF +0.2%, DK +1.7%.
Nov. 30, 2015, 3:28 PM
- Biofuel names react favorably and refiners negatively to just-released EPA biofuel targets that come in above those proposed by the agency in May.
- Fuel suppliers will be required to mix 16.93B gallons of corn-based ethanol and other renewable fuels into gasoline this year and 18.11B gallons next year, according to the newest EPA targets.
- The final 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is nearly 1B gallons, or 35% higher than actual 2014 volumes.
- Biofuel names include: PEIX +17.7%, REGI +8.1%, AMRS +7%, GEVO +4.9%, SZYM +2.5%, GPRE +6.2%, REX +3.2%, ADM flat.
- Refiners are pulling back: VLO -0.9%, TSO -1.5%, HFC -2.6%, MPC -0.3%, PSX -0.9%, WNR -0.7%, CLMT -2.6%.
Oct. 26, 2015, 7:28 AM
- Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) says it has offered to buy the shares of Northern Tier Energy (NYSE:NTI) it does not already own in a deal that values the refiner at ~$2.52B.
- WNR, which currently has a ~38% stake in NTI, says it has offered $17.50 in cash and 0.2266 of its share for each NTI unit.
- NTI +9.1% premarket.
May 29, 2015, 11:15 AM
- Ethanol companies rise while refiners are off session highs after the EPA announces its renewables fuels mandate.
- The EPA proposes requiring 15.93B gallons of total renewable fuel in 2014, 16.3B gallons in 2015, and 17.4B gallons in 2016, but the proposal for the total renewable fuel requirement falls short of levels Congress mandated, which were 20.5B gallons in 2015 and 22.5B gallons in 2016.
- Also, the EPA cuts 2016 corn-ethanol quota to 14B gallons; U.S. law required 15B gallons of ethanol for 2016.
- Ethanol exposed companies are mostly higher: ADM +0.7%, GPRE +4.2%, PEIX +4.1%, REX +1%, DAR +2%, CZZ -2.2%.
- Among refiners: HFC +0.3%, TSO +1.3%, VLO +0.8%, WNR +1.9%, PBF -1%.
- Biofuel related stocks: GEVO -8.3%, SZYM -2.7%, CDTI -1%, REGI -0.7%.
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. 26, 2015, 3:45 PM
- Western Refining (WNR +7.9%) is one of the day's strongest energy gainers after Q4 earnings came in well ahead of estimates, and its Western Refining Logistics (WNRL +2.9%) and 38%-owned Northern Tier Energy (NTI +5.3%) also delivered upbeat Q4 results (I, II).
- Cowen analyst Sam Margolin reiterates an Outperform rating and $60 price target on WNRL, encouraged by management's affirmation that the MLP’s growth remained on track, including a 50% target for third party revenues, with projects slated to begin as far out as 2018.
- WNRL’s share price has lagged by a wide margin YTD, weighing on WNR’s valuation, but WNR is nearing completion of the Tex-New Mex pipeline, while the Bobcat pipeline remains on schedule; including potential dropdowns from NTI, Margolin sees $100M WNRL EBITDA growth by early 2016.
Sep. 10, 2014, 3:28 PM
- Energy stocks, especially refiners, are taking a beating following the latest EIA inventory report that said gasoline stockpiles rose by 2.4M barrels last week, helping send U.S. crude oil futures to 16-month lows (-1.2% to $91.61/bbl) and Brent crude to 17-month lows (-1.1% to $98.02).
- The report is bearish given the large increases in refined product inventories; "even though the crude drawdown was close to expectations, it seemed to disappoint," Again Capital's John Kilduff says.
- The EIA report followed the agency’s updated demand growth report issued yesterday and this morning’s release of OPEC’s report on the oil market; both see lower demand growth this year and next.
- Oil majors are mostly lower: XOM -0.6%, CVX -1.4%, COP -0.3%, but BP (+2.9%) and RDS.A (+1%) are higher.
- Refiners are hit hard: VLO -3.6%, PSX -1.5%, MPC -1.9%, HFC -2.5%, TSO -2.9%, WNR -4.1%, CVI -1.6%, ALJ -1.8%, PBF -3.5%, DK -1.8%, CLMT -1.8%.
- ETFs: USO, XLE, OIL, UCO, ERX, VDE, OIH, SCO, ERY, XOP, DIG, BNO, UGA, DTO, DBO, DUG, IYE, IEO, CRUD, PXE, USL, PXI, PXJ, DBE, FENY, UWTI, DWTI, DNO, RJN, RYE, FXN, SZO, OLO, JJE, DDG, ONG, RGRE, OLEM, TWTI, UBN
Jul. 28, 2014, 12:40 PM
- Refiner stocks are dropping, in line with the margin squeeze that could result from the drop in crude oil prices, Barron's Dimitra DeFotis writes.
- Rising violence in Libya continues to affect energy assets, but attempts for peace between Israel and the Palestinians over the weekend may be taking some of the risk out of energy markets; Brent prices are down nearly 1% to $107.76/bbl, narrowing the spread with West Texas crude, off 0.3% to $101.74.
- ALJ -3.3%, TSO -1.6%, WNR -0.9%, HFC -0.8%, VLO -0.6%, PSX -0.4%, MPC -0.2%.
Jul. 11, 2014, 3:18 PM
- Citigroup analyst Faisal Khan says he is moving toward a more bullish view of the U.S. refining sector after a bout of selling amid low expectations.
- Khan points to continued growth in U.S. and Canadian oil production, "sticky" oil prices due to Middle East volatility, U.S. oil price differentials that are "somewhat contained" at $5-$10/bbl, and headway on refining closures in the Atlantic basin that is only a matter of time.
- As a result, the Citi team upgrades Marathon Petroleum (MPC +2.2%) to Buy from Neutral, as well as HollyFrontier (HFC +2%) to Neutral from Sell on valuation, but downgrades Alon USA Partners (ALDW -0.8%) to Neutral on the belief that Midland-Cushing differentials have peaked.
- Valero Energy (VLO +1.7%) and Western Refining (WNR +2%) remain the firm's favorites - VLO because it sees “crude-on-crude competition on the U.S. Gulf Coast resulting in greater feedstock discounts at Valero’s high conversion refineries," and WNR for its restructuring potential.
Jul. 7, 2014, 3:27 PM
- Western Refining (WNR +1.9%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $55 price target, raised from $43, at Citigroup, which sees a potential restructuring helping to unlock shareholder value.
- Citi believes WNR could restructure into a holding company with the limited and general partnership interests in Northern Tier Energy (NTI -0.9%) and Western Refining Logistics (WNRL -1.4%), which would allow WNR to generate a ~10% free cash flow yield over its forecast period.
Jun. 26, 2014, 3:33 PM
- Most refiners recover part of yesterday's big drop, which some say was an overreaction to the U.S. government move to allow two oil companies to export ultra-light crude oil for the first time: TSO +2.8%, VLO +2%, PSX +1%, CVI +0.7%, CLMT +0.7%, WNR +0.6%, MPC +0.2%, ALJ -1%, PBF -0.6%, HFC -0.3%.
- The death of U.S. refiners is "greatly exaggerated," Cowen analysts say: "The spirit of the law - that hydrocarbon liquids produced in the U.S. must be processed in the U.S. - remains in place, and permits for condensate exports do not constitute precedent for crude oil... We continue to see potential for a meaningful feedstock advantage for U.S. refiners emerging later in 2014."
- Ned Davis Research, however, thinks the news is "potentially game changing for refiners," since it signals a change in the government’s position on oil exports more broadly and noting that it is the export ban, plus inadequate pipeline infrastructure, that has fed recent refiner outperformance.
Jun. 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
- Refiners take a beating in early trading, as a lift of the ban on U.S. oil exports is expected to narrow the WTI-Brent spread, which could cause refiners' profits drop if they are forced to pay higher prices to compete with international buyers for U.S. crude.
- “We don’t think the current system needs to be changed,” Valero Energy tells Bloomberg.
- Yesterday's rulings gave Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD +2.6%) and Enterprise Products Partners (EPD +1.4%) permission to ship ultralight oil to foreign buyers - a narrow ruling, but one that is likely to spark similar requests from other companies, and increase lobbying for a full lifting of the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil.
- Refining stocks are broadly lower: VLO -7.4%, PBF -5.8%, MPC -5.7%, WNR -5.5%, DK -5.4%, HFC -4.6%, ALDW -4.6%, TSO -3.8%, NTI -3.5%, PSX -2.9%, ALJ -2.7%, CVI -2.3%.
Apr. 28, 2014, 12:45 PM
- Prices of U.S. crude grades such as West Texas Intermediate are starting to disconnect from Brent benchmark prices again, rebounding to ~$9/bbl two weeks after hitting a low for the year of less than $3.70.
- Stocks at the Cushing, Okla., hub have dropped by 16M barrels since late January but have jumped by 43M on the Gulf coast; overall, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories now stand at their highest level on record, according to Barclays.
- With the oil stuck there with nowhere to go, Gulf coast refiners can name their price - great for the likes of Valero Energy (VLO +1.9%), because they can then refine that oil into products such as gasoline that are allowable for export.
- Also today: PSX +0.9%, MPC +1.8%, HFC +0.7%, TSO +1.3%, CVI +0.9%, WNR +0.2%, PBF +1.1%, CLMT +2.3%, ALJ -1.2%.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, DTO, DBO, BNO, CRUD, USL, UWTI, DNO, DWTI, SZO, OLO, OLEM, TWTI
Feb. 28, 2014, 2:48 PM
- Refiners mostly continue to languish after shares were hammered yesterday as the Brent-WTI spread narrowed to its tightest level since last October.
- Credit Suisse isn't too excited about the near-term outlook; while March-April could see some widening of the spread given the transfer of inventory from Cushing to the Gulf, summer crude spreads should remain tight given as East of Rockies refineries ramp up for peak gasoline demand.
- On individual stocks, the firm says Western Refining (WNR -3%) and Phillips 66 (PSX +0.1%) should benefit from other businesses, while Tesoro (TSO +1.1%) could benefit from being recognized as a “Gulf Coast Refiner” but Delek US (DK -3.5%) needs to show signs of earnings improvement before it's worth buying.
- ETFs: XLE, ERX, OIH, VDE, ERY, DIG, DUG, XES, IYE, IEZ, PXJ, PXI, PSCE, FENY, FXN, RYE, DDG.
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