Displaying items by tag: energy

Tuesday, 04 June 2024 07:53

ConocoPhillips to Acquire Marathon Oil

M&A activity in the energy sector continues at full speed. The latest deal involves ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $22.5 billion in an all-stock deal that is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Each Marathon shareholder will receive 0.255 shares of Conoco for every share of Marathon, equating to a 15% premium to its price prior to the deal’s announcement.

Last October, ExxonMobil and Chevron completed similar acquisitions of Occidental Petroleum and Diamondback Energy for $60 billion and $53 billion, respectively. The motive for these deals is identical, as the oil majors are looking to scoop up prime North American energy-rich territory. Further, energy companies have enjoyed years of robust cash flow during the post-pandemic period, which they’ve used to pay off debt, return cash to shareholders, and make acquisitions.

According to Conoco CEO Ryan Lance, the deal will strengthen the company’s portfolio of assets and increase its supply of ‘high-quality, low-cost inventory’. He has also said that consolidation is ‘the right thing to be doing for our industry’. Since the Exxon and Chevron deals, there have been rumors of a competitive bidding process between Devon Energy and Conoco for Marathon. Previously, Conoco had lost out to Diamondback Energy as both were vying for Endeavor Energy Resources, a private producer in the Permian Basin.


 

Finsum: The M&A spree in the energy sector continues with ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $22.5 billion. 



Published in Eq: Energy
Saturday, 25 May 2024 11:38

Opportunities Amid the Energy Transition

The world is slowly transitioning to renewable energy. For institutional investors, this transition is likely to bring many investment opportunities. Of course, this will be a slow process that will take place over decades.  

The first step is the displacement of coal by natural gas, which is cleaner in terms of emissions and has already begun in many parts of the world, including the US. Another essential step is investing in various clean energy segments such as batteries, transmission and distribution, utilities, and renewable generation equipment. 

Many countries are recognizing energy security as a national security concern, which is also leading to supportive policies and capital flows. Countries are investing in electrification and local manufacturing in key areas like semiconductors, energy production, and storage. 

As the world moves toward net-zero emissions by 2050, companies in many parts of the economy will have to invest in decarbonization efforts. Morningstar sees opportunities for investors who understand the transition’s impact on the economy and various industries.

Capital expenditure for clean energy is expected to reach between $4 trillion and $5 trillion per year by the end of the decade. However, due to the transition taking place over a multi-decade period, investors should also have sufficient patience, anticipate volatility, and manage risk throughout the cycle. 


 

Finsum: We are in the early stages of a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. There will be plenty of opportunities for investors to earn healthy returns, given the size and scale of the trend.

Published in Eq: Energy
Thursday, 09 May 2024 12:56

Will Energy Sector Strength Continue?

Energy has been one of the best-performing sectors YTD with a 10% gain. Energy prices have moved higher due to increased geopolitical uncertainty and strong economic data. Looking ahead, LPL remains bullish on energy and recommends overweighting the sector.

It notes that valuations are quite attractive, especially with producers focusing on cash flow in recent years. In the post-pandemic period, free cash flow yields have averaged 8%, while this figure averaged 4% in the preceding decade. And producers have been using this cash to buy back shares, raise dividends, and pay off debt. 

From a technical perspective, LPL notes the relative strength as the sector has been making new, all-time highs for much of this year. Additionally, there has been strong breadth, indicating broad-based buying pressure. 

Another looming catalyst is that there has been some rotation out of the ‘Magnificent 7’ stocks into cheaper parts of the market, such as energy, financials, and small-caps. Growth stocks have led the market higher for most of the past year, but with valuations extended, there is an increased risk of a pullback or correction.

Finally, investing in energy provides some protection against inflation continuing to linger above the Fed’s desired level and rates remaining elevated as a consequence. Energy also tends to rally when long-term bonds weaken, providing a hedge for portfolios.


Finsum: Energy has outperformed to start the year. LPL remains bullish on the sector due to its attractive valuation, positive correlation with inflation, and relative strength.

Published in Eq: Energy
Wednesday, 24 April 2024 02:00

Alternative Energy Stocks Struggling in 2024

Alternative energy stocks have had a poor start to the year as the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN) is down 15% YTD. A major component of the industry’s struggle is the poor performance of Tesla, which has been dealing with slowing sales and falling margins. Last week, the company announced that it would be restructuring and laying off 10% of its workforce. In the first quarter, the company had its first decline in vehicle deliveries, from 422,875 in last year’s Q1 to 386,810 this year.

Another is that overvalued parts of the market have moved lower as it’s increasingly clear that rates will remain elevated in the near term. Higher rates have a negative impact on auto sales and result in higher financing costs for green energy projects, leading to fewer installations. 

The larger story is that the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and clean energy from fossil fuels and internal combustion engines is simply taking longer than expected.  EV demand growth seems to have stalled despite optimistic forecasts from many organizations that demand would steadily increase over the next decade. Meanwhile, the supply of EVs is set to meaningfully increase in the coming years. 


Finsum: Alternative energy stocks have been a laggard so far this year. Two of the major reasons are slowing demand for EVs and higher interest rates. 

Published in Eq: Energy
Tuesday, 16 April 2024 04:11

Energy Stocks Outperforming

The Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) is up 14% YTD, which is the second-best performance among sectors. This follows a year of underperformance in 2023 due to concerns of a recession impacting energy demand, while strong US production offsets the impacts of OPEC cuts. Last month, OPEC announced that production cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day would continue in the second quarter.

This year, oil prices have risen due to increased tensions in the Middle East. Additionally, recent economic data has clarified that the US economy is not near a recession, and there are some indications of a pick-up in economic growth. The near-term macro picture looks bullish for energy stocks given increased demand, tighter supply, and intensifying geopolitical tensions. On the supply side, OPEC has demonstrated discipline in terms of members abiding by agreed-upon production cuts, and US production is expected to not increase further.

Given valuation concerns about many parts of the market, energy stocks are also cheap, trading at 13 times expected earnings vs. 21 for the S&P 500. XLE also pays a 3% yield, which is more than double the S&P 500’s yield of 1.4%. Further, historical research shows that energy stocks have posted the best performance in high-rate environments, which is likely to persist for longer given recent economic data. 


Finsum: Energy stocks have had a strong start to 2024. Recent economic data is supportive of increased demand, while the supply side is being impacted by OPEC cuts and heightened geopolitical tensions. 

Published in Eq: Energy
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