Lombardi: Stock Market Commentary & Forecasts, Financial & Economic Analysis Since 1986

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a natural source of energy, mainly containing methane. This source of energy is used for generating power for machines and vehicles, producing electricity, and providing heat. Natural gas is usually found deep in rock formations or hydrocarbon reservoirs. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, when compared to coal and oil, as it produces less carbon dioxide. A new method of extracting natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” has opened more potential reserves. Fracking has enabled the U.S. to have one of the world’s largest recoverable reserves of natural gas.

Plunging Oil Prices Next Big Investment Opportunity?

By for Profit Confidential

Declining Oil Prices the Market’s CatalystWhile corporate earnings continue to come in solid, stocks continue to be sold.

It’s not all the time that stocks follow oil prices, but they certainly have this time around and the selling momentum has gained on deflationary pressures from producer prices to declining expectations for global economic growth.

And the selling is happening to companies that beat consensus with their earnings, like J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT), which beat Wall Street estimates for sales and earnings in what was a very solid quarter for the trucking company.

For J.B. Hunt, sentiment just wasn’t strong enough to carry the stock materially higher, even in the face of declining prices for diesel fuel, which is a big bonus for that company’s bottom-line.

The autumn sell-off also flies in the face of reduced pressure on the Federal Reserve to begin raising rates as recent data shows a softening of economic activity on a global basis.

If oil was the catalyst and economic data the accelerator, it’s important to remember where stocks have come from. The equity market has been due for a material correction for a number of quarters. It didn’t even need a reason for a correction only because share prices have come so far over the last several years.

The breakdown in oil prices has been truly spectacular and is now seriously affecting the business case for many energy producers.

And the breakdown isn’t just due to increasing domestic production; it’s a breakdown in sentiment based on declining expectations for the global economy.

So stocks have sold off and they may go further, but a five to 10% price … Read More

This Energy Stock to Be Major Beneficiary of LNG Build-Out?

By for Profit Confidential

Why This Energy Stock Is So Attractive in a Value-Driven MarketIn a nervous market trading right near its high, it’s worth looking for value. But there’s not a lot of it around, as stocks are fully priced and expectations for earnings are modest.

One company we’ve looked at before is Chart Industries, Inc. (GTLS) out of Garfield Heights, Ohio. This business manufactures specialized equipment for the production and storage of hydrocarbons and industrial gases. It’s a good business to be in these days and should make for a decent long-term investment.

This is a $2.0-billion company whose share price is down substantially from its all-time record-high set last October. It’s not that this business isn’t growing, but only that the position sold off after not quite meeting consensus.

I like this business and its long-term fundamentals. Energy end-products represent about 53% of the company’s total sales.

The company has also developed specialized expertise in cryogenic storage, which is equipment that can produce temperatures close to absolute zero (-459 degrees Fahrenheit).

Most of Chart Industries’ customers are large, multinational producers of hydrocarbons and gases. The company’s top-ten customers account for 37% of total revenues.

Biomedical customers are 23% of total sales, including respiratory products, cold storage systems, and commercial oxygen generation systems. As a global manufacturer and seller, just less than 60% of total sales are generated by international customers.

You can learn a lot about this business by reading its Form 10-K annual report for 2013. Chart Industries’ share price appreciated 550% from October 2010 to October of last year. It’s now more fairly priced. The company’s stock chart is featured below:

GTLS ChartChart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

This is a very … Read More

The Last Group of Burgeoning Stocks

By for Profit Confidential

The Income Stocks Investors Now CraveQuite a bit of speculative fervor has been zapped out of this market, which is helpful for the longer-run trend.

With the exception of biotechnology stocks, trading action has softened in initial public offerings (IPOs), 3D (three-dimensional) printer stocks, cloud software stocks, and even a lot of restaurant stocks that only recently were very hot.

The stock market is just a continuing cycle of fluctuating investor sentiment. Valuations among junior energy producers got really excessive last year and the entire group now seems to be in consolidation.

Gold and silver stocks appear to have been toast for a while. As is always the case in resource investing, even the best growth stories can’t generally get their share prices moving if the underlying commodity price is stagnant. Precious metals stocks have always traded in manias, and this is not likely to change.

In a slow-growth environment, dividend income is key. And after an exceptional year like 2013, it may just be the only rate of return to be had.

But like so many large-cap stocks last year, some of the best dividend payers have already gone up tremendously. There isn’t a lot of value for an equity buyer these days.

One specific sector that continues to be relatively hot is the master limited partnerships (MLP) of energy companies. There is very good yield to be had from this sector in addition to the potential for capital gains. There have been countless new listings of these securities, and the North American production boom is the reason.

One firm that illustrates the combination of capital gains and income that can be found in … Read More

Company Booming from Glut in Oil, Gas Production

By for Profit Confidential

Company Booming from Glut in Oil, Gas ProductionWhen we first took a look at Chart Industries, Inc. (GTLS) in April, the stock was trading around $80.00 a share. The natural gas build-out is a very worthy investment theme going forward and equity market portfolios should have some exposure.

The oil and natural gas industry is a bright spot in today’s economy, and there is genuine economic growth being generated from this sector. With North America gushing with natural gas, the infrastructure necessary to process, transport, and store it is vast and represents a good investment opportunity.

Chart Industries is a company that manufactures specialized storage solutions for liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemical and natural gas processing, medical use gases, and related storage equipment. It’s a solid company with a good track record of managing its business.

Now that there is a push to move the glut of natural gas, there is growing demand for LNG processing plants. Chart Industries was recently awarded a contract to build a C100N liquefaction plant for Stabilis FHR Oilfield LNG LLC. The customer plans to use the processing plant to produce 100,000 gallons of LNG per day in the Eagle Ford Shale region in Texas.

Chart Industries said that Stabilis will likely order four additional LNG liquefaction plants, which can produce either 100,000 gallons or 250,000 gallons per day. Chart Industries has already reserved manufacturing time slots for these additional processing plants.

Back in July, the company won an additional order from Kunlun Energy Investment, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of PetroChina Company Limited’s (PTR) Kunlun Energy Limited for self-contained LNG station modules. The latest order was over $50.0 million, and … Read More

Oil Boosting Valuations, but This Commodity May Be the Best Buy Right Now

By for Profit Confidential

capital marketsThe way things are going, the place to be in capital markets seems to be in energy. Oil and gas stocks, particularly smaller ones, continue to be solid earners in a stock market looking for direction.

While oil prices gyrate on geopolitical events, market speculators have been bidding the commodity based on the slightly positive tone in U.S. economic data. It doesn’t take a lot for market participants to bid oil. The only way to beat it as a consumer is to own a piece of the company.

While many junior oil and gas producers are moving higher in value on the stock market, valuations are particularly lofty. They were high to begin with, before recent events in Syria, but they have only gotten worse. Now isn’t particularly a good time to be considering new positions on the stock market, but the energy sector is a bright light in an otherwise lackluster environment.

Jim Rogers, the “Investment Biker,” wrote that he would continually analyze all capital markets, but trade very little. He would wait until an investment opportunity became so compelling, and then take on a considerable position (with leverage).

I don’t see this kind of opportunity with oil, but I do see it in natural gas as a longer-term, cyclical play after the natural gas build-out is completed.

One of the most successful natural gas  producers on the stock market has been Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG). Even with flat natural gas prices, this oil and gas producer is up four-fold since the beginning of 2010. Its valuation is super lofty, but then again, this enterprise is delivering … Read More

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