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  • Roger S. Conrad

Investing Topics: Upstream

Good Bond Hunting

Although bonds lack the liquidity of equities and require more up-front capital to purchase, income-seeking investors shouldn’t overlook the opportunities in this corner of the energy market. Because bonds have a higher position in the capital structure than stock, a company usually privileges its interest payments over dividends or distributions to investors who own common shares or units.Bondholders also benefit more from dilutive equity issuance than shareholders.

 

Gas-Heavy Producers: Still on the Sidelines

With elevated inventory levels, robust production and the potential for an unusually warm winter, even the best-positioned players in the Marcellus Shale could suffer further downside. Here’s our take on a handful of popular gas-focused exploration and production companies, with the write-ups appearing in order of preference. We may consider instituting a dream buy price on one or two of these names in coming months; however, for now, we prefer to remain on the sideline.

The Upstream Cash Flow Crunch

The severe downdraft in the prices of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids has pressured producers’ cash flow and outpaced reductions to service costs and capital expenditures. Accordingly, the cash flow shortfalls that predominated in the salad years have continued in the lean years, setting the stage for further spending cuts in 2016.

Changes to the International Portfolio

We expect even the hardest-hit International Portfolio holdings to survive the current down-cycle. However, we have concerns about how long this recovery might take; in some instances, we’re be better off taking a loss and re-allocating capital to stocks that stand a better chance of making money over the next few years.

 

Bond Update

In December 2014, we highlighted a basket of undervalued bonds issued primarily by upstream master limited partnerships (MLP) that we thought would rally if they cut their distributions to shore up their balance sheets and focus on paying down debt. We also reasoned that these securities would pop on any relief rally in energy prices. This strategy worked nicely and we took some decent profits off the table. A similar opportunity appears to be in the works.

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  • Live Chat with

    Elliott and Roger on May. 26, 2021

  • Portfolios & Ratings

    • Model Portfolios

      Balanced portfolios of energy stocks for aggressive and conservative investors.

    • Producers and Drillers

      Our take on more than 50 energy-related equities, from upstream to downstream and everything in between.

    • MLPs and Midstream

      Our assessment of every energy-related master limited partnership.

    • International Coverage

      Roger Conrad’s coverage of more than 70 dividend-paying energy names.

    Experts

    • Elliott H. Gue

      Founder and Chief Analyst: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor

    • Roger S. Conrad

      Founder and Chief Analyst: Capitalist Times and Energy & Income Advisor