Friday, January 10, 2014

Emerald Oil Acquires >20,000 Acres In The Bakken At Incredible Low Per Acreage Price; Increases Their Bakken Acreage Significantly; American Eagle Provides Operational Update; The Retailer Target States Breach Was Worse Than Initially Reported; Apple Enters Microsoft's Turf

Emerald Oil acquires ~ 20,800 net acres in the Williston Basin for $74.6 mln in cash: Co announces that it has entered into two separate definitive purchase and sale agreements with two unrelated sellers to acquire additional core Bakken and Three Forks producing properties and undeveloped leasehold in McKenzie and Williams Counties, North Dakota. The total purchase price for the asset packages is $74.6 mln in cash.  [$75 million/20,800 acres = $3,605/acre.]

20,800 acres represents almost 45% of their previous acreage. Previously, my data base (which could be way wrong, showed that Emerald had 48,800 acres. Now, almost 70,000 net acres, all in the Bakken.

I don't know if the recent operator transfer that was announced in the daily activity reports were part of this Emeral Oil deal.
Williams and McKenzie are the better counties in the Bakken. The source said this was undeveloped leasehold property. But $4,000 / acre seems like a good deal. 


American Eagle Energy estimates that average production for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, will be ~1,850 to 1,950 BOEPD: During the quarter ended December 31, 2013, American Eagle added four operated wells to production in its Spyglass Project area consisting of two field extension wells and two infill wells. The extension wells included one Three Forks producer and one Middle Bakken producer and the two infill wells are producing from the Middle Bakken formation. Two of the wells (Bryce and Erling) are part of the Farm-Out Agreement in which the Company's JV partner pays 100% of the Company's working interest share of well development costs for up to six wells, all of which will be operated by American Eagle. During the month of December 2013, Williston, North Dakota had 19 days with temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit.


 I haven't posted an "investment article" from The Street for a long, long time but this headline caught my eye: where to invest in oil and gas in 2014? Abraxas.


RBN Energy: part 2 in the series on the natural gas debacle in Boston, New England. Won't get better until 2016 and even then the "fix" will be far short of what is needed.


Dividends and distributions: Ford raised its dividend from 10 cents to 12.5 cents. 25%. The yield is now 3.16% -- easily exceeds what one gets in a money market fund.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.


Target breach worse than initially reported:
Target lowers Q4 EPS, comp guidance; co discloses that certain guest information -- separate from the payment card data previously disclosed -- was taken during the data breach. 
As part of Target's ongoing forensic investigation, it has been determined that certain guest information -- separate from the payment card data previously disclosed -- was taken during the data breach. This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation. At this time, the investigation has determined that the stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals. Much of this data is partial in nature, but in cases where Target has an email address, the Company will attempt to contact affected guests. This communication will be informational, including tips to guard against consumer scams. Target will not ask those guests to provide any personal information as part of that communication. In addition, guests can find the tips on our website. 
More concerning: Target does not mention that, yes, indeed, PINs were also filched, something they initially denied.


The Wall Street Journal

I linked the stories on this yesterday from a different source, but now The Wall Street Journal also notices: Apple devices flow into corporate world. This is a huge story.
The popularity of the iPhone and iPad among employees is prompting corporate tech managers to rewrite policies and change traditional buying patterns.
The iPhone has replaced the BlackBerry as the mobile phone of choice, as the iPad assumes tasks once reserved for PCs. Apple won about 8% of global business and government spending on computers and tablets in 2012, Forrester Research says, up from 1% in 2009. By 2015, Forrester estimates that figure will climb to 11%. The numbers exclude the iPhone, which may be the most widely purchased Apple product by corporate customers. It is often Apple's gateway into a business.
This was also reported at the blog yesterday, at the same link as above: PC shipments fell 10% last year. Apple's iPad destroying the PC market.

Wow, this all seems like "old" news. I also wrote at length about this issue yesterday: Barnes and Noble's digital content fell almost 30% last year. It's gonna fall more this year. My hunch: Microsoft and B&N will partner on digital.

The Los Angeles Times

The LA Times leads with the jobs story. The LA Times usually doesn't lead with this kind of story; suggests just how bad the job market it.

Yes, here it is: The LA Times headline -- the Target breach is much wider than first reported. Now up to 110 million and much personal data taken from as many as 70 million. I believe the original number was 40 million. Now we are up to 110 million, and much more information was stolen that originally reported.
Target Corp on Friday said that last month's data breach affected up to 110 million customers and that the data theft was broader than originally thought.
The Minneapolis-based retailer said that as as many as 70 million customers' information, which included names, mailing addresses, emails and phone numbers, was stolen last month during the busy holiday shopping season.
Target said the theft was not a new breach but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation into the theft of millions of customers' credit and debit card information during the busy holiday shopping season. Between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, hackers pilfered the data from U.S. Target stores. 
The worst part about all this is that Target has been incredibly slow in getting the word out to its customers. I know I won't use a credit card at Target any more. 
Friday's disclosure, however, shows that hackers made off with more than just payment card information.
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chief executive said. “I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team.”
The retailer is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all affected customers who shopped at U.S. stores. Customers will have three months to enroll, Target said in a statement.
Target says folks should not change their credit card account numbers or discontinue them. Simply monitor them for unauthorized use. Okay.


Here we go: the insurers get the blame (of course, this is being reported in the LA Times, which appears to be less reliable than the New York Times on political issues of that's even possible. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that "insurers are under first as Obamacare kicks in. New policy holders are having trouble confirming coverage, obtaining ID numbers and getting medical care." Remember: they enrolled under Obamacare-developed-and-mandated websites. The insurers are simply pass-through entities now. But they will get the blame.

[Also at Breitbart:
Insurance companies are still trying to sort out cases of so-called health insurance orphans, customers for whom the government has a record that they enrolled, but the insurer does not.

Government officials say the problem is real but under control, with orphan records being among the roughly 13,000 problem cases they are trying to resolve with insurers. But insurance companies are worried the process will grow more cumbersome as they deal with the flood of new customers who signed up in December as enrollment deadlines neared.

More than 1 million people have signed up through the federal insurance market that serves 36 states. Officials contend the error rate for new signups is close to zero.

Insurers, however, are less enthusiastic about the pace of the fixes. The companies also are seeing cases in which the government has assigned the same identification number to more than one person, as well as so-called "ghost" files in which the insurer has an enrollment record but the government does not.

But orphaned files _ when the insurer has no record of enrollment _ are particularly concerning because the companies have no automated way to identify the presumed policyholder. They say they have to manually compare the lists of enrollees the government sends them with their own records because the government never built an automated system that would do the work much faster.]
Governor Jerry Brown is his own personal earthquake predictor, something new in the science of earthquakes. Brown: "earthquakes are just around the corner." I can't make this stuff up.

Now the good stuff that the Los Angeles Times is known for: the Geico caveman the elephant shark genome wins race for most 'slowly evolved vertebrate.'
Move over, coelacanth. No longer is this extremely rare order of ancient fish crowned the slowest evolving vertebrate animal in the world. That honor now goes to the elephant shark, whose freshly sequenced genome was described in Nature this week.
Known formally as Callorhinchus milii, the elephant shark boasts an incredibly compact genome -- about a billion DNA base pairs, roughly one-third the length of the human genome. And it could provide scientists with new insight into the evolution of their now very distant cousins -- the group of bony fishes called Osteichthyes, which gave rise to all terrestrial vertebrates, including humans.
The elephant shark, also known as the Australian ghost shark, can be found off the coast of southern Australia, and can stretch to about 4 feet long. They’re part of the group of cartilaginous fish known as Chondrichthyes, whose skeletons are made up mostly of cartilage instead of bone.
The cartilaginous fish separated from the bony-jawed fishes -- our ancestors -- around 450 million years ago. But together, these two groups make up about 99.9% of the living vertebrate species.
A Note to the Granddaughters

We went to the Annenberg Space for Photography yesterday in downtown "Century City," west of Los Angeles city center. It was a great day. The Annenberg and National Geographic were celebrating the magazine's 125th anniversary.

The "space" is relatively small. There were two long introductory videos, very well done, but one could not take their children to see them. They were definitely R-rated for violence; no nudity. The exhibit was a handful of framed photographs and posters. The vast majority of photographs were displayed on dynamic large-screen, flat television monitors.

The highlight for me was the inclusion of photographs from the Bakken, including: Williston, Tioga, Watford City, and Stanley. Without question, the photograph of Watford City was most remarkable. The photographs were taken from the March, 2013, issue, "America Strikes New Oil." It is free to access on-line but requires e-mail registration.

I would not recommend the visit unless you have absolutely nothing else to do while visiting Los Angeles. Having said that, I'm glad I went. The photographs were most contemporary. There was no history of photo-journalism of the National Geogrpahic and very little science. It was mostly a political agenda that will suit the Angeleno elite. The video of the interviews with the photographers appears to have been produced by the same folks that do the Jonathan Ive/Apple interviews.

Following the museum, I took May to, perhaps, the best mom-and-pop/authentic sushi restaurant in Los Angeles (if not the best; none are better): Hide Sushi. Cash only. Bottomless tea cups which my Japanese-Hispanic wife tells me is the norm in Japanese restaurants. But we were also offered more rice, something she has never seen in any restaurant. I did a Yelp review if interested. Although not called "Little Tokyo" it looks like Sawtelle Boulevard in this part of Los Angeles is a Japanese destination. My wife lived in this area before we met, many, many years ago.

We stopped by Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery: incredible.  I could not afford to buy many of the bonsai. Then I noted that even if I could afford to buy them, they were not for sale: a private collection.

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