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  • Don't Buy The Hype - Oil Prices Are Down Due To Short Sellers [View article]
    You are correct in that the Saudis cannot unilaterally reduce production. We have a current over supply situation which is exacerbated by perceived weakening in the China economy. Iran will have the opportunity to increase exports but after many years of neglect of their infrastructure this will not happen quickly. It hasn't happened in Iraq and likely will take years and lots of money to get up to pre-embargo levels. The "softening demand" issue is perhaps overblown in the media as the world is still consuming oil at very high levels.
    Aug 26, 2015. 12:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marathon Oil Is Trading Near 52-Week Lows - Buy Or Avoid? [View article]
    Yesterday's price action in MRO sure felt like capitulation. I began nibbling on some jan 2017 LEAPS. I am still long MRO from the time of the breakup with MPC so my basis is low but underwater now. Who Knows when Oil prices will turn but as a long term investor it sure is starting to feel like time to slowly accumulate names like COP and MRO.
    Aug 20, 2015. 07:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pipelines much safer than shipping oil by rail, new study says [View news story]
    I have a farm in Illinois that has 3 oil pipelines and a small capacity natural gas pipeline passing under it. One of the oil pipelines dates back to the 60's (before my ownership). Two are managed by Marathon (now MPLX) and the other is the first Keystone. In my 30 years of ownership I have never had an issue with them and I find them responsive when we have a need to do work in the vicinity of the pipelines. We raise corn or soybeans on top of these and the crops are just fine.

    In the event of a spillage the operators have insurance. $50 million as I recall. I would rather have a pipeline under my farm than a high power line over it generating "green electricity". The movement of commodities is one of the minor risks/inconveniences we have in a civilized society. By the way the best part of having a pipeline is they pay you when they buy the easement.
    Aug 14, 2015. 02:10 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marathon Oil Is Trading Near 52-Week Lows - Buy Or Avoid? [View article]
    you are correct. MPC and MPLX were spun off. MRO is a pure play E&P now. The company most similar to MRO IS COP. Obviously COP Is much larger. I am long both and adding.
    Aug 12, 2015. 10:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Ways To Profit From Hiring Your Kids [View instapost]
    Thanks for sharing that. I followed many of the same concepts with a daughter who is now 28. She has an MBA from a top school and has been doing M&A work for the last 3-4 years, travelling extensively and negotiating global deals. She was answering phones at one of my businesses during summers when she was 13 and continued until she went on to internships, etc. More importantly she was able to interface with much older CEOs, CFOs etc. before she was out of undergrad. My personal opinion is that much of success in business can be attributed to communication skills. No reason why kids can't learn those skills at an early
    age and then learn the nuances of their chosen field later. At 28 I would trust her to analyze and negotiate the most complex financial decisions. In fact I frequently send her spreadsheets and ask her opinion.
    Thanks again for your insight.
    Aug 5, 2015. 05:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T details closure of DirecTV deal [View news story]
    I made a hasty post and then followed it up with a hasty reply so please allow me to explain. My main reason for the post was to give kudos to a good contributor(Chris Demuth) who pointed out the way to play this in a mid April article. The collective effort of Authors and Commenters is what makes Seeking Alpha great.

    Full Disclosure: I have owned T off and on for many years and usually trade it around a core position. I often sell covered calls against part of my position. That position is unaffected by the DTV transaction other than I think it bodes well for the future of T.

    In a trading account I bought DTV on April 17 @ 86.75 per share. As of this moment I still own it but intend to sell Monday depending on where T opens. This was a trade for me as opposed to an ongoing investment position. So here are the details as I see them: Based on the T closing price of 34.29 I will receive 1.892 shares plus 28.50 in my account per share of DTV. Let's call that $93.38 per share. So that would equate to a 7.6% return from my purchase price of 86.75 (commissions ignored) and not quite the "about 8%" that I mentioned but T sold off a bit after I did my back of napkin calculation late Friday. Again this was a quick trade and thanks to Chris for pointing it out.

    While I don't owe you an explanation my posts were too brief and confusing and that was not my intent. I like T as an investment and think they are making some great strategic moves. Good luck in your investments.
    Jul 26, 2015. 10:56 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T details closure of DirecTV deal [View news story]
    Haven't sold it.
    Jul 25, 2015. 11:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan - Buy It After The Recent Crash [View article]

    I am long KMI and a big believer in the long-term story. However the most important word in equity market investing is diversification. I have had more bad experiences than good ones when I forgot that word. Best of luck college is going to cost a lot more in the years to come.
    Jul 25, 2015. 07:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T details closure of DirecTV deal [View news story]
    A big thank you to Chris Demuth, an SA contributor who wrote an excellent article about buying DTV back in April. I am a long time holder of T but he opened my eyes to the DTV angle. Closed out that deal with about an 8% return in about 67 days. I encourage everyone to follow him.
    Jul 24, 2015. 10:08 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips: This 5% Yielder Is On Sale, And Here's Why You Should Care [View article]
    those are great yields. The only problem is my cost in some of those names is much higher than current prices. With the exception of COP who just raised their Dividend by a penny I am sweating a dividend cut. Undaunted I am a buyer of the E &P guys at these levels. I also just bought some KMI warrants today. My take is the US production will fall slightly the last half of the year and the Iranians will take a while to come back up to the lofty levels people are talking about. If we can get the oil demand side back up a tad I still think we are close to the bottom in WTI/Brent. China needs to crank up the printing press and start getting their economy moving to get these commodity prices up.
    Jul 24, 2015. 05:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia, German automakers reportedly strike $2.7B deal for HERE unit sale (updated) [View news story]
    Just to recap. You buy something for $8 billion. Throw millions more into it and then sell it for $2.7 billion. Where is Steve Ballmer and Microsoft when you need them. I guess you can only shear that sheep once.
    Jul 21, 2015. 12:50 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips: Dividend Obsession Hurts The Company [View article]
    @jerryof NC,
    Thanks for the reply but that is not what I said(or meant to say). the era of cheap discovery and production is over for the domestic E&P names. That is why companies like COP and MRO have been redeploying their Cap EX away from deep offshore plays and less stable international plays. Offshore deep drilling probably does not make a lot of sense at $50 oil hence the cut in that segment for COP. Bakken crude is not cheap to drill and produce but it is easily budgeted and last time I checked North Dakota was pretty stable politically. Also don't forget that COP has proven reserves that are not going anywhere and will be produced at the prevailing price when extracted.

    As far as oils demise my investment horizon is the next 20 to 30 years (hopefully) and I do not see demand for Oil disappearing anytime soon.
    Jul 20, 2015. 09:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips: Dividend Obsession Hurts The Company [View article]
    Let's move on folks. COP has repeatedly (since the spinoff) said they will support the dividend and that is exactly what they are doing. They have cut back the higher cost parts of their Cap EX but will still add to domestic reserves with the pared back budget. Plenty of reserves in the ground and they will find more just not as soon as if the oil price was $100. I am long MRO and COP in the E&P sector. Been trading E&P stocks for decades and one thing I am sure of is that the price of oil can be hard to forecast in the short term but I am betting real money that it will go up long term and the COP share price will rise with it. In the meantime I will buy more with my dividends. I don't believe in the tooth fairy nor do I subscribe to the geopolitical conspiracy theories that some of our posters ascribe to. The simple reality is that oil is becoming more expensive to find and produce and there is a lot of it in places that are not politically very predictable. That is what makes investing in this sector interesting.
    Jul 19, 2015. 06:55 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ensco says ConocoPhillips drillship contract terminated [View news story]
    If you read the fine print COP only pays if the rig is not re-deployed to another company. That seems unlikely in the current oil price environment so COP is stuck. Obviously they chose to take the beating rather than spend more $$ chasing a higher cost offshore well.
    Jul 16, 2015. 05:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Realty jumps as activist remains a bull [View news story]
    I hope he is right as it was my worst idea of 2014. I am still painfully long and awaiting the dividend announcement so we can get this share price normalized and see where the share price shakes out with its peer group. I am guessing it will trade at about a 1% higher yield than O.
    Jul 15, 2015. 12:51 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment