Tue, Aug. 25, 5:35 PM
- investors should stick with "market darlings" - the 25 stocks that had performed the best during the six months before a market pullback - according to the analyst team at RBC.
- The firm notes that although many recent winners are leading the market lower, the extent of the underperformance is just 1%; it also says investing in the group following sharp market pullbacks is a winning strategy over the ensuing week, month and six months.
- RBC's 25 market darlings are AET, ALTR, AMZN, AIZ, CVC, CI, CAG, EA, EQIX, EXPE, GME, GOOGL, HAS, HCA, MNST, NFLX, NKE, PRGO, REGN, SBUX, TSO, TWC, TSS, UA, UHS
Fri, Aug. 14, 3:39 PM
- Tesoro (TSO -1.9%) is lower as shares are downgraded to Sector Perform from Sector Outperform at Scotia Howard Weil, although the price target is raised by $3 to $114, as the firm says it is becoming concerned that investors are growing complacent with a West Coast margin environment well above mid-cycle levels.
- TSO had climbed more than 6% heading into today's trading after strong Q2 earnings and indications that Q3 could be even better; since the results, analyst estimates for Q3 free cash have increased to $4.57/share from $2.77.
- Weil says its general stance on refiners remains constructive into fall turnarounds, with the view that differentials could improve on top of a persistently strong underlying margin environment, but it does not believe TSO will continue to outperform peers.
Fri, Aug. 14, 12:47 PM
- The Obama administration will allow limited sales of crude oil to Mexico for the first time, Reuters reports, citing a senior administration official who says the U.S. Commerce Department is "acting favorably on a number of applications" to export U.S. crude in exchange for imported Mexican oil.
- The shipments, likely to be lighter, high-quality shale oil, would help Mexico's aging refineries produce more premium fuels, while U.S. refiners would continue to get Mexican heavy oil, a better match for them than the light oil coming from Texas and North Dakota.
- Although limited in scope, the move toward freeing up trade will please U.S. oil producers such as Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), which say the restrictions force them to sell oil at below global market rates, and may add momentum to efforts mostly to repeal what advocates see as a relic of the 1970s.
- Among relevant oil stocks: XOM, CVX, BP, RDS.A, RDS.B, OAS, NOG, CLR, WLL, EOX, SM, SFY, PVA, GST, SN, CRK, BBG, CWEI
- Relevant refining stocks: VLO, HFC, MPC, TSO, WNR, ALJ, PSX, PBF, DK, NTI, ALDW
- ETFs: XLE, XOP, XES, IEO, IEZ, PXE, NDP
Mon, Aug. 10, 12:45 PM
- Low crude oil prices may last "lower for longer" but refiners will stay "stronger for longer," as the group benefits from the lower prices when caused by oversupply and as Q3 results will prove "materially higher" for the group as a whole, Morgan Stanley's Eva Calio says.
- The analyst notes that many refiners reported Q2 results that came in ahead of expectations: Tesoro's (TSO +4.4%) earnings were 16% ahead of estimates, HollyFrontier's (HFC +2.9%) earnings beat expectations by 13%, and Valero (VLO +4.5%) exceeded earnings estimates by 10%.
- Calio expects TSO's capture rate to improve in Q3 and report higher sequential earnings even adjusting for an expected decline in cracks; meanwhile, HFC's management is committed to a $2.3B share repurchase over the next 2-3 years, and VLO remains on track for a second MLP drop before the end of the year.
Thu, Aug. 6, 4:55 PM
- Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) agrees to pay $4M to settle a lawsuit alleging that it discharged hazardous pollutants at its refinery in Martinez, Calif.
- The deal announced late yesterday came after an eight-year investigation by Bay Area regulators who found the company had not properly disposed of the plant’s byproducts in sewer and water-treatment facilities without first removing contaminants that could evaporate and pollute the atmosphere.
- TSO, which operates six refineries in the western U.S., is no longer discharging its waste illegally, the regulators say.
Thu, Aug. 6, 2:59 PM
- Tesoro (TSO +3.3%) CEO Greg Goff says oil drilling in Utah's Uinta Basin has "dried up" because of low crude prices, and will affect availability of the waxy crude prevalent there after the refiner recently finished a $275M conversion project at its 57.5K bbl/day refinery in Salt Lake City to double waxy crude processing capacity to 22K bbl/day.
- Uinta trades at a discount to the WTI as it is more costly to produce and process; the discount narrowed as domestic crude prices plunged 58% Y/Y, prompting producers to pull back and focus on other more profitable oilfields.
- HollyFrontier (HFC +2.6%) also is set to start a similar conversion project at its Woods Cross refinery in Utah that will increase capacity to 45K bbl/day from 31K, with the ability to process up to 25K bbl/day of Uinta waxy crude.
- On today's earnings conference call, Goff declined to comment about talks reportedly held earlier this year to buy HFC, but said TSO fully intends to examine possible acquisitions from the midwest to the west coast, "pretty much staying out of the Gulf coast."
Wed, Aug. 5, 5:02 PM
Thu, Jul. 30, 11:16 AM
- HollyFrontier (HFC +4.4%) is higher following a Reuters report that Tesoro (TSO -2.5%) approached the company about a potential buyout but talks were not successful.
- The companies held discussions in this year's Q1 but were scuttled after HFC's board balked at TSO's proposed offer, which is not known, and other terms, according to the report.
- TSO is said to remain interested in a deal for HFC, which would provide access to the Rocky Mountain region, where refiners have seen margins rise as they have access to crude that can be difficult to transport to traditional refining centers on the Gulf coast.
Mon, Jul. 27, 11:59 AM
- Macquarie sees plenty of long-term value in the oil refining market despite concerns over the outlook for U.S. crude oil production growth, and initiates coverage with five new Outperform ratings for Valero (VLO -1.5%), Tesoro (TSO -1%), HollyFrontier (HFC -1.4%), PBF Energy (PBF -1.8%) and Delek U.S. Holdings (DK -1.4%).
- While oil demand remains above 1M bbl/day, Macquarie notes that refining capacity continues to be tight, oil finding and development costs have fallen to $25/bbl which has lowered crude production break-even levels, and capital discipline in the space has increased which opens the doors for special dividends and share buybacks.
Thu, Jul. 23, 6:44 PM
- Even as the E&P and oilfield services sectors have slumped again, stocks of refiners such as Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO), Tesoro (NYSE:TSO), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) have jumped 25% or more YTD.
- West coast refiners are big winners right now: Earlier this month, according to Credit Suisse, regional refining margins hit almost $60/bbl, - higher than the oil price itself.
- But Heard On The Street's Liam Denning suspects a top is near, with valuation a factor; VLO, for example, now trades at ~9.6x earnings, above its 15-year average of ~8.5x, which would be closer to just 8x without the wild swings in 2009-10 in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
- The other worry is that the glut of crude oil is morphing into a glut of refined products, such as diesel; U.S. commercial inventories of crude peaked in April and have since dropped by 29.5M barrels, but stocks of refined products have increased by 57M barrels to hit their highest level on record.
- Denning thinks refining stocks should remain the energy sector's best performers through the summer driving season and amid cheap oil, but by the time 2016 comes around, the growing glut in refined products may be too large for even the most optimistic investor to ignore.
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%).
Fri, Jun. 26, 5:58 PM
- The latest delay in a detailed government review of Tesoro's (NYSE:TSO) proposed $210M Port of Vancouver railport project in Washington state means a final decision will be pushed into 2016, Reuters reports, citing a state council's published schedule.
- The 360K bbl/day Vancouver Energy USA project would be the biggest in the U.S., moving domestic and Canadian crude via rail to the crude-by-rail terminal, where it would be loaded onto vessels to supply west coast refineries.
- Washington's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council newly published schedule says a draft environmental impact statement will be published in late November, after it had previously expected to release the draft report in late July.
- Earlier: Tesoro's Port of Vancouver planned oil terminal subject to deeper scrutiny (Jun 5)
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, Jun. 5, 8:49 AM
- Tesoro's (NYSE:TSO) $210M plan to construct the largest U.S. crude-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver could face significant delays after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said yesterday it will scrutinize the project under the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
- The Corps rejected a request for a standardized dock permit that would not have triggered an evaluation; instead, it will undergo a deep evaluation that will consider the project's potential impacts on water, air and endangered salmon.
- The Vancouver Energy USA project is a TSO joint venture designed to receive up to 360K bbl/day of North American crude by rail and transfer it to ocean-going vessels for transfer to west coast refineries.
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.
TSO vs. ETF Alternatives
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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