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  • Murphy USA plans buybacks, branded store investments after Wal-Mart partnership revised  [View news story]
    "greater flexibility to develop sites independently,"...
    The company is trying to put a positive spin on a negative development. MUSA always had that flexibility.
    Wal-Mart's decision to build their own gasoline outlets hampers Murphy's ability to grow their network. The stand-alone Murphy Express outlets are more expensive and harder to locate than the stations in front of W-M Supercenters.
    As for the share buy-back, I would prefer that they spend some cash introducing a dividend payment to shareholders. Cash in hand is worth more to me than the prospect that reduced share count might result in higher share prices in the future. $0.50 per share per quarter would not go amiss.
    Feb 5, 2016. 11:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart to fly its own banner at some gas stations  [View news story]
    By adopting its own gasoline program, WMT can more easily cross-promote between the supercenter and the gas station.
    The obvious effect on Murphy USA will be to limit future growth in the network. That will be amplified if Wal-Mart buys some of the existing MUSA stations.
    Feb 4, 2016. 05:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Geron: What To Expect From Imetelstat Now  [View article]
    With only a year left in office, it's not very likely that Obama and Biden will get anything productive done. Looks to me like another way to funnel money to some of their cronies just like they did with money earmarked for solar energy.
    Jan 14, 2016. 01:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Geron: What To Expect From Imetelstat Now  [View article]
    Thanx to the author for this article. It's a good update of Geron's current status.
    Content to sit on my GERN shares and wait.
    Jan 13, 2016. 11:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is it win or lose for convenience stores with Powerball over $1B?  [View news story]
    A big lottery jackpot is a mixed bag for convenience stores. They get a lot more foot traffic from ticket buyers, but the crowd can often discourage non-lottery customers from buying other merchandise. The retailer gets only 5% of the lottery ticket sales, but often has to forego much higher margins on the lost sales of other goods.
    Jan 11, 2016. 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Murphy USA Will Benefit From Low Fuel Prices And Higher Biofuel Blending Volumes  [View article]
    Pretty good analysis, although I still contend that the bankers who track revenues for a commodity reseller are missing the boat.
    The one factor that will weigh on MUSA shares is when the crude oil price recovers. We all know that it will recover, and it is just a matter of when. Crude prices running up from current levels to $80-120/barrel will decimate Murphy's margins.
    They have a good business model, but no management expertise will prevent underlying prices from trashing the P&L eventually.
    I have been in and out of MUSA since the spin-off from MUR. For now, I will hold my money and may buy in after the crude oil price comes back.
    Jan 7, 2016. 11:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Check Finally Comes Due  [View article]
    Mr Jensen: bought CLDT on your recommendation a couple of years ago and sold with a nice gain, albeit a little too early.
    Now that they have fallen in price, I appreciate the reminder.
    Keep doing what you do.
    Jan 7, 2016. 11:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Check Finally Comes Due  [View article]
    It should make you more comfortable with your choice.
    Jan 7, 2016. 11:17 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where Are These Names Now?  [View article]
    Mr Jensen - I really like the fact that you do post-mortems on some of your SA articles. A lot of authors would rather let theirs disappear with the passage of time.
    Don't sweat the Gilead disappointment too much. Your thesis remains sound a year later.
    One way that I have enhanced my return on GILD the last two years is via long-term calls. I understand that buying calls outright might be more risk than your typical strategy, but in this case, iI think it is warranted. There has been enough volatility in the share price that I have made good money.
    Currently hold '17Jan$110 calls at a low cost basis, and if/when the price rises during next year, I will cash out. For reference, my trading volume in options is about 20% of the equity volume.
    Best of luck to all in 2016.
    Dec 31, 2015. 07:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • End Of The Oil Export Ban: What Does It Mean?  [View article]
    Wikipedia will never tell you all you need to know.
    Read back over the postings here and let me know where I said that the tier-trading happened before '73. It is true that the crude oil price controls were put in place prior to the Arab Oil Embargo as part of Nixon's grand plan to control prices and wages, but the controls had no impact on the crude oil market until the embargo hit. And, as always happens when the government tries to control a market, they left a loophole open for some smart guys to make millions. That's when they imposed the export ban as a ham-handed way to close the loophole. Of course, typical of the government, they closed the barn door after the herd had already escaped.

    This link offers a better explanation of the two-tiered system imposed by Nixon's administration: http://bit.ly/1RCjwz4

    It is clear that you and I have a disconnect as to what happened and why. Can I suggest that any further dialogue between us be conducted via private message?
    Dec 21, 2015. 11:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • End Of The Oil Export Ban: What Does It Mean?  [View article]
    Sandman - as an old fart, of course, I lived in the US throughout the 1970's. Dependency on foreign oil imports was a huge problem and created chaos at times. It also prompted the government to start the SPR, but it didn't spawn an export ban.

    "It is very unlikely that any so called "new Oil" would have come close to the economic loss that the US faced in both shocks."
    I don't think you know the details. The Arab Oil Embargo caused the market price of oil to jump from $3 to $11-12 per barrel. In order to dampen the effect on the US economy, the government imposed two-tier price controls on domestic production. Existing (old) production could only be sold at $3 and new production was sold at market prices.
    After the government discovered some traders buying $3 oil, moving it to storage in the Caribbean then reimporting it at market price and pocketing the difference, they prosecuted the cheaters and imposed the oil export ban to prevent others from taking advantage of the system.

    Hope this explanation helps.
    Dec 21, 2015. 02:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • End Of The Oil Export Ban: What Does It Mean?  [View article]
    Mark0f0 - a crude atmospheric unit designed for heavy oil processing doesn't have enough capacity in the top part of the tower to handle a light slate. Trying to run a 35-40 API crude in a unit designed for grades with gravities in the high-teens or low-twenties would limit throughput to such a low level that the minimum-flow requirements for the furnace would not be met.
    Dec 19, 2015. 10:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top Energy Stock For 2016: Enterprise Product Partners  [View article]
    I've owned EPD for over ten years, and bought my last tranche when the price was about $18 (pre-split). Dan Duncan was buying heavily at the time. He is gone now, but I have to imagine that if he were here, he would be loading up on EPD again.
    Me, too.
    Dec 19, 2015. 01:57 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • End Of The Oil Export Ban: What Does It Mean?  [View article]
    Government and academics are held to a low standard of truthfulness.
    I once had a DOE representative try to take credit for the sharp drop in oil prices in Jan '91. "Our decision to sell oil from the SPR helped to calm the markets and prices came down."
    When I asked him why the price rose during the first half of January then dropped by over $10 the day after the bombing of Baghdad first started, he offered a weak "Yes, that was a factor, too."
    Dec 18, 2015. 11:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top Energy Stock For 2016: Enterprise Product Partners  [View article]
    destratton - yes, the numbers are off by several orders of magnitude. I'm going to guess that the author saw some data using the term MBPD for capacity and didn't realize that the M is the Roman numeral for 1000.

    I made this comment on a different SA article yesterday, but it bears repeating: financial guys should stick to the dollars and leave discussion of the operating details to others more familiar.
    Dec 17, 2015. 04:00 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment