Wed, Jul. 8, 3:49 PM
- The U.S. E&P industry is "between a rock and a hard place" entering earnings season, Deutsche Bank says, expecting continued headwinds for the group; while momentum has been building for moderate acceleration in activity levels in H2, macro concerns from China to Greece have weighed on crude prices and introduced an “additional layer of uncertainty.”
- Among the major integrated oils, the firm prefers EOG Resources (EOG -2.5%) and Anadarko Petroleum (APC -2.8%) into Q2 results but cuts its stock price target for Marathon Petroleum (MPC -2.6%) in half to $62.
- U.S. refiners, on the other hand, continue to defy fears of a collapse in margins, with demand strength and robust gasoline cracks again driving upside to earnings estimates; the firm sees 7% upside on average to current Q2 estimates for the group, with particular strength from Tesoro (TSO -1.2%), Valero (VLO -0.9%) and HollyFrontier (HFC -1.4%).
Thu, Jun. 18, 7:17 PM
- U.S. oil refiners will maintain positive free cash flows until the seasonally stronger Q4 revives earnings, as they can beat a short-term supply crunch by boosting the use of OPEC oil and diverting exports headed for Canada, Cowen analyst Sam Margolin writes.
- Refiners are getting squeezed by a drop-off in domestic supplies as drillers pull back, but Margolis sees the crunch as temporary and expects supplies of West Texas crude to rebound in response to demand during H2.
- The analyst maintains an Outperform rating on Valero (NYSE:VLO), Tesoro (NYSE:TSO), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) and PBF Energy (NYSE:PBF) he predicts Q2 earnings will come in above consensus for VLO, TSO and WNR.
- Margolin rates HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC), Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ), Calumet Specialty Products (NASDAQ:CLMT) and Northern Tier Energy (NYSE:NTI) at Market Perform.
Fri, May 29, 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%.
Wed, May 27, 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.
Wed, May 13, 4:44 PM
Thu, May 7, 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.
Wed, May 6, 7:03 AM
Tue, May 5, 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
Tue, Apr. 21, 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.
Fri, Apr. 10, 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.
Fri, Mar. 27, 5:38 PM
Wed, Mar. 18, 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
Sat, Feb. 28, 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%.
Wed, Feb. 25, 7:03 AM
Tue, Feb. 24, 5:30 PM
Thu, Feb. 19, 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.
HFC vs. ETF Alternatives
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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