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Where the Rubber Meets the Road

By Elliott H. Gue on Feb. 20, 2019

Earnings reporting and guidance call season often provoke investor confusion, angst and unfortunately all too often some very bad decisions. But they’re also where the rubber meets the road in this business.

Basically, companies have to own up to what’s going on with their operations, how strong their balance sheets really are and what challenges they face that could possibly derail their fortunes.

Earnings reporting seasons have more often than not been unhappy times for energy investors since oil prices first cut under $100 a barrel back in mid-2014. But for at least a year, we’ve noticed a decided change for the better, at least for the sector’s best in class companies. Basically, companies have gotten their acts together when they could, or else fallen of the map entirely.

The result is our Energy and Income Advisor coverage universes of producers, services companies, midstream/master limited partnerships and international companies have been winnowed down considerably. The vast majority is either decidedly back on track, or else are virtual zombies awaiting oblivion.

We’ve yet to see any real investor excitement flow back into the survivors. But there is certainly a lot to get pumped about when it comes to US companies, with surging energy exports and expanding output of oil and gas. Even in Canada there’s reason for optimism, as new transport capacity has cut the price differential between Western Canada Select and West Texas Intermediate Cushing to only around $10 a barrel.

There are multiple explanations why investors’ money hasn’t flowed back into energy stocks yet, starting with anxiety about energy prices and the global economy. But it always has when energy companies have continued to drive down costs and boost revenue on a sustained basis. And our bet is it’s only a matter of time at this point.

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In October 2012, renowned energy expert Elliott Gue launched the Energy & Income Advisor, a twice-monthly investment advisory that's dedicated to unearthing the most profitable opportunities in the sector, from growth stocks to high-yielding utilities, royalty trusts and master limited partnerships.

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