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.
Dec. 3, 2013, 7:07 PM
- BofA Merrill Lynch makes a positive case for leading refiners HollyFrontier (HFC), Valero (VLO) and Tesoro (TSO), believing the rebound in crude spreads signals the early stages of crude saturation on the U.S. Gulf coast and introduces a new layer of seasonal margin volatility that plays to the benefit of the sector.
- The firm upgrades HFC to Buy from Neutral with a $60 price target, up from $51, after HFC has lagged the early seasonal rebound in the U.S. refining sector that has accompanied the expansion in crude differentials.
- VLO is BofA's top pick in the sector; poised to complete a second MLP, VLO can unlock $5-$9/share of value in the stock, the firm says.
- The firm likes TSO's west coast crude advantage and accelerated spending at its MLP.
Nov. 25, 2013, 3:55 PM
- Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and AIG are the most popular (long) holdings of hedge funds, according to Goldman's latest hedge fund monitor, which analyzed the positions of 783 hedge funds with $1.7T of gross assets. Hedge fund holdings of AIG, however, account for 14 of the company's float compared to negligible amounts for Apple and Google.
- The 20 most concentrated hedge fund holdings as defined by the percent of equity cap owned by the funds has consistently been a significant outperformer, according to Goldman. In order: AN, STZ, JCP, FDO, THC, HRB, BEAM, MU, NWSA, VRSN, CBG, NFLX, GT, TSO, ETFC, MSI, WPX, WYN, HES, CCI. The top 20 last quarter is here.
- Overall, the studied hedge funds' performance leaves a bit to be desired, with average return of 6% YTD. Fewer than 5% outperformed the S&P 500, and 20% of funds posted an absolute loss.
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. 15, 2013, 3:09 PM
- The EPA is proposing a range of 15B-15.52B gallons of renewable fuel in 2014, nearly 3B fewer gallons of biofuel to be blended into gasoline than mandated by the original 2007 law.
- The new proposal angers farm groups, corn ethanol producers and supporters of biodiesel, but it's a victory for oil companies, which have long argued that if the content of ethanol in motor fuel exceeded 10% - i.e., the "blend wall" - it might damage cars, motorcycles and lawn mowers.
- The administration also is setting a 2B-2.5B gallon target range for all advanced biofuels (earlier).
- Among the biggest movers: PEIX +13%, ADM -2.9%.
- Refiners: VLO +0.8%, HFC -0.4%, PSX -0.5%, TSO -0.3%.
- ETF: CORN -1.2%.
Nov. 15, 2013, 11:24 AM
- Barron's is bullish on refiners HollyFrontier (HFC -0.2%) and Tesoro (TSO -0.3%), each of which has operations near the heart of the shale oil boom that should benefit from shifting oil price dynamics.
- HFC will continue to see cost benefits from its proximity to plentiful shale oil, which can be even cheaper than WTI, and is investing to improve the efficiency of its refineries which should give it an edge over competitors as delivery bottlenecks from booming oilfields are resolved with new pipelines.
- Like HFC, TSO has refineries with geographic advantages, which Credit Suisse says are among the best-positioned in U.S. refining; also, TSO's valuation may not reflect the benefits that will result as it moves pipeline, storage and other assets into its Tesoro Logistics (TLLP) MLP.
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.
Nov. 6, 2013, 5:22 PM
Nov. 1, 2013, 8:07 AM
- Tesoro (TSO; TLLP) accepts a federal order requiring upgrades on its 200-mile High Plains oil pipeline system spanning North Dakota and Montana, clearing it to restart a section shut since a 20K-barrel spill discovered Sept. 29.
- A preliminary Department of Transportation analysis indicates that “a strong electrical discharge” such as lightning caused the pipe failure.
Oct. 23, 2013, 11:56 AM
- Refining stocks are headed for a roller coaster ride, Simmons analysts say, believing Q3 earnings will be weak across the board and the only question is whether the letdown could be more severe than Wall Street expects; the firm also sees a downtrend for Q4, with 2014 "a volatile period."
- Refiners have enjoyed strong during the past year, but the U.S. gasoline market now is oversupplied and entering a time of planned refinery maintenance and diminishing demand.
- Valero (VLO +0.7%) and Phillips 66 (PSX -0.1%), which the firm rates as Overweight, report earnings next week; Tesoro (TSO +1.8%) is rated Neutral.
Oct. 17, 2013, 5:42 PM
Oct. 15, 2013, 2:13 PM
- Tesoro Logistics (TLLP; TSO) says it will repair and replace a 200-ft. section of the North Dakota pipeline that leaked ~20K barrels of Bakken oil onto a farm, and is developing a plan to reroute the pipeline.
- TLLP is declining to give any details of the plan, which will be shared with federal authorities; it is not commenting on the cause of the leak, and has not provided a date for the possible restart of the line.
Oct. 11, 2013, 5:48 PM
- Corrosion may have led to the leak of 20K barrels of oil from a Tesoro Logistics (TLLP, TSO) pipeline in North Dakota, according to an initial investigation.
- The 20-year-old pipeline was carrying crude oil from the Bakken shale to the Stampede rail facility outside Columbus, N.D.; the spill was largely contained and clean-up efforts were estimated at ~$4M.
- The incident is raising questions about North Dakota's ability to handle its energy boom after it was not reported to the public for 12 days; the governor, who says he wasn’t even told about the spill until two days ago, says the state is now investigating its procedures for reporting spills.
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%.
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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