Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Photos And Companies Reporting Earnings Today, Tomorrow -- February 4, 2015

Someone asked me if I had seen any photos like these in the last six years? Nope, sadly I have not. And yes, I miss him. One memory I will never forget is of the soldier in our apartment complex who had bilateral lower extremity prosthetics and was enjoying the apartment complex pool -- that was some years ago when we were living in San Antonio, home of Ft Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center. [Update: just after posting all of that, I went over to the Drudge Report before going to bed; I had not looked at the Drudge Report since earlier this morning. I see the top story is that Brian Williams lied about being on a helicopter that went down due to enemy fire during the 2003 Iraq invasion. He said he was confused; it was another helicopter that went down due to enemy fire; his helicopter came in about an hour later: "I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.” Apparently he's been telling the story for quite some time; but it sounds like he "came clean" when US military personnel said it wasn't accurate." And so it goes. He's starting to sound like Lance Armstrong.]


See disclaimer.

Reporting today:
  • General Motors (GM): forecast 83 cents;  GM reports much higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit; raises dividend; possibly a larger dividend later this year; excluding special items, the largest U.S. automaker earned $1.19 per share, compared with the analysts’ average estimate of 83 cents; net income rose to $1.1 billion, or 66 cents a share, from $900 million, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier. North American profit margins for the full year were 6.5 percent.
  • Marathon Petroleum (MPC): forecast $1.38, Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $798 million; revenue of $22.34 billion in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Analysts expected $18.92 billion; for the year, the company reported profit of $2.52 billion, or $8.78 per share. Revenue was reported as $98.1 billion; on a per-share basis, the Findlay, Ohio-based company said it had profit of $2.86; the results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.47 per share.
  • Noble Corp (NE): forecast 50 cents; a fourth-quarter loss of $609.6 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the London-based company said it had a loss of $2.44. Earnings, adjusted for asset impairment costs and to account for discontinued operations, were 47 cents per share.
  • Plains All American Pipeline (PAA): forecast 61 cents; fourth-quarter earnings rose 26% as lower costs offset weaker revenue and the master-limited partnership lowered the midpoint of its 2015 profit outlook. For 2015, Plains All American Pipeline now expects the midpoint of its estimate for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding certain items, will be $2.35 billion, compared with its previous view for just over $2.5 billion. profit of $389 million, or 67 cents a limited partner unit, up from $309 million, or 58 cents a unit, a year earlier. Excluding items, per-unit earnings fell to 60 cents from 76 cents. Revenue fell 11% to $9.46 billion.
  • Weatherford (WFT): forecast 32 cents; net income before charges of $252 million ($0.32 diluted earnings per share non-GAAP) on revenues of $3.73 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014.

Active Rigs Break Below 140; Thirteen (13) New Permits; Strata-X Cancels Permits, No Update On Earlier Strata-X Natural Gas Wells -- February 4, 2015

Isn't this interesting? Strata-X cancels three permits. Remember Strata-X? We'll get back to this later.  It appears the company's webmaster is a bit slow: there is no mention at the company's website that these permits have been canceled, and no information on previously drilled wells. At least one of the North Dakota Sleeping Giant wells spud in June, 2014, is still on DRL status. Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

In addition to those two canceled wells, eight other permits were also canceled (Slawson - 3; CLR - 1; Bakken Hunter - 2; Hess -2)

Active rigs:

Active Rigs139190184202165

Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier.

Thirteen (13) new permits --
  • Operators: CLR (6), Whiting (4), XTO (2), Statoil
  • Fields: Alkali Creek (Mountrail), Heart Butte (Dunn), Midway (Williams), West Capa (Williams), Alger (Mountrail), Bell (Stark)
  • Comments:
Two (2) producing wells completed:
21173, 46, Gadeco, Golden 25-13H ,
28671, 565, EOG, Parshall 83-2827H,

Six locations resurveyed, including four CLR permits (Monroe/Pasadena) and two Petro-Hunt permits (Klatt/Dolezal).

Wells coming off the confidential list Thursday:
  • 27037, 445, EOG, Parshall 40-1509H, Parshall, t8/14; cum 98K 12/14;
  • 28132, 2,362, QEP, Moberg 3-18TH, Grail, t8/14; cum 88K 12/14;
  • 28133, 2,341, QEP, Moberg 4-18BH, Grail, t8/14; cum 104K 12/14;
  • 28546, drl, XTO, Schettler 14X-9B, Cedar Coulee, no production data,
  • 28622, 2,545, QEP, Moberg 18-13LL, Grail, t8/14; cum 88K 12/14;
  • 28812, drl, SM Energy, James 16X-35HB, Camp, no production data,
  • 28981, drl, WPX, Mandaree 24-13HZ,  Spotted Horn, no production data,

27037, see above, EOG, Parshall 40-1509H:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

28132, see below, QEP, Moberg 3-18TH, Grail:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

28133, see below, QEP, Moberg 4-18BH, Grail:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 28622, see below, QEP, Moberg 18-13LL, Grail:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Follow-Up On A Million-Bbl Middle Bakken Well -- February 4, 2015

Link here. Note: this well is still flowing naturally; no pump.

Preparing For The Future

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
The Dickinson City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance to adopt the West Dickinson Area Plan on Tuesday.
An existing plan adopted in 2013, "Dickinson 2035: Roadmap to the Future" outlines future population growth and possible future land uses for the city. The ordinance is a change to that plan that could add 6,100 acres to Dickinson.
The plan adds to that existing comprehensive plan, which at the time it was drafted didn't include coverage of the area spanning from 35th Street West south to Patterson Lake, and 116th Avenue Southwest east to 30th Avenue West.

Active Rigs Down To 140 -- February 4, 2015

Active rigs in North Dakota:

Active Rigs140190184202165

Odds And Ends, But Mostly "Ends"

Bookstore ends: Borderlands done in by minimum wage and ObamaCare.

Clean Coal Project ends: Obama administration shuts down "Clean Coal" demonstration project in Illinois. Many, many story lines: nuclear industry against this project; nuclear industry in financial trouble in some areas; enviro-nazis against any kind of coal energy; loss of jobs in a state that could use some jobs.

By decade's end: US government interest payments will exceed defense spending and non-defense spending.

US crude oil pace of production could end this year. FuelFix is reporting.

How's That OXY Spin-Off Doing?

The spin-off of the subsidiary was completed on November 30, and California Resources Corp (CRC) began trading publicly on the NYSE on December 1 at $7.37, which was well below estimates of where the stock would open. Issued shares to Occidental shareholders began trading off-market in the middle of November at $8.45, which was 15% below the $10.00 range expected. However, slumping crude oil prices conspired to greatly limit the value of the new company from earlier estimates, and it would continue to drop over the following two months, to as low as $3.93 in late January.
See disclaimer

Today, CRC's EPS: a loss of 75 cents/share per Yahoo!Finance. CRC will report earnings on February 19, 2015.

A Note for the Granddaughters

One of the more interesting initiatives that primary educators have instituted over the years has been an interdisciplinary approach in education starting in elementary grades. For example, arithmetic teachers were to use word problems to help students with reading comprehension, not simply arithmetic. Science teachers, likewise, were to assign more essays instead of multiple-guess questions in their assessments. I was mentioning to this to our younger granddaughter and she said her school does that. When the science teacher assigns them an essay, the science teacher checks the paper for scientific accuracy and then gives the essays to the language arts teacher who evaluates the essay on grammar, punctuation, spelling writing, etc.

We did the same thing when I was substituting as a teacher for a middle school in San Antonio, Texas, a few years ago. But I always wondered how physical education instructors would fit in.

Yesterday, our younger granddaughter told me a most interesting story. Yesterday, in physical education, the gym instructors (probably with assistance from the science teachers) set up an obstacle course in the gymnasium. The obstacle course was in the "shape" of a heart, with long tunnels for the aorta, arteries coming from the aorta, and the pulmonary arteries. When going through the lungs, the students were jerry-rigged into some kind of scooter - pulley system and pulled along, grabbing oxygen models along the way. 

She asked me about the aortic valve and about the arteries that went to the brain. This was all in her gym class yesterday.

This morning when I picked up the two granddaughters to take to school, she was on the computer looking at a model of a heart, and pointing out where I was wrong and that she was right all along. LOL.

She also knew that when looking at diagrams of the human body, they are usually reversed. The heart, for example, is pictured on the right -- in the diagram -- though, of course, it's on the left side of our body. This was in third grade that she's learning all this. And she's learning biology and the circulation of blood in physical education. I'm quite impressed.

I can't wait to hear what she says the boys do when they pretend to be going through the digestive tract next. LOL.

The Fifties

Lost In The Fifties Tonight (In The Still Of The Night), Ronnie Milsap

US Crude Oil Stocks Hit All-Time Record; Price Falls 5%; Price Of Gasoline Rising Due To Speculators -- Texas AAA; The Titans Of Search -- February 4, 2015

Brent extended losses to fall below $56 a barrel on Wednesday, reversing a four session rally after U.S. crude inventories jumped to a record high, shifting the global glut back in to focus.
Oil's near 20 percent surge since Friday had raised speculation crude's seven-month rout may be at an end, but the sharp sell-off on Wednesday indicated prices may not yet have found a floor, with the market still well supplied.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stocks rose by 6.3 million barrels last week to 413.06 million barrels, the highest level since records began in 1982.
Memo to self: send note to Jane Nielson -- there is oil in the Bakken.

The Price Of Gasoline Is Set By Speculators -- Texas AAA
I don't know if readers are aware of this story. After months of falling, gasoline prices are now starting to rise again. In Texas, gasoline has gone up as much as ten cents in the past 24 hours. This morning on talk radio: the price of gasoline is not due to supply and demand, but due to "speculators." LOL. No who said that? Texas AAA. Speculators. I haven't heard anything about speculators in the past year.

The Titans
The Street is reporting:
Google, which has seen its share of the U.S. search market already decline after being replaced in the Firefox web browser three months ago, is facing an even bigger threat should Apple also oust it from the iconic computer maker's widely used Safari browser. 
Google slipped to a 74.8% share of the U.S. search market on desktop computers and tablets in January, while Yahoo! grew its slice to 10.9%, according to StatCounter, which analyzes search referrals of three million websites. The shift came after Yahoo replaced Google as the default search engine of Mozilla's Firefox web browser.

I Knew It Was Bad; I Did Not Know It Was This Bad

WSJ op-ed is reporting:
In Russia today, 110 persons, including Mr. Putin’s cronies, control 35% of the country’s wealth while 50% of adults have total household wealth of $871 or lower.
In 2014, food prices rose 15.4%. It is a measure of the government’s concern that it has cut the price of vodka, despite the need to fill the treasury. This is a transparent attempt to use vodka to tranquilize the population. 

Job Watch: Added Jobs Fall Short Of Forecast -- February 4, 2015

Reuters is reporting:
U.S. private employers added 213,000 jobs in January, falling short of the median forecasts of analysts, a payrolls processor report showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 225,000 jobs.
December's private payrolls were revised up to 253,000 from the previously reported 241,000.
Remember, these are the magic numbers:
First time claims, unemployment benefits: 400,000 (> 400,000: economic stagnation)
New jobs: 200,000 (< 200,000 new jobs: economic stagnation)
Economists estimate the labor market needs to create about 125,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate steady, though estimates vary -- Reuters.
Note: new jobs less than 200,000 portends economic stagnation; I don't see a big difference between 200,000 and 213,000 in the big scheme of things, especially in the 7th year of a recovery following the greatest recession since the Great Depression and gazillions of dollars in stimulus.

Really Good News For Washington State

BizJournal is reporting:
Construction has started at Boeing's $1 billion 777X wing plant, after months of site preparation and thousands of dump truck trips.
The first steel is tangible evidence of the rapid progress Boeing (NYSE: BA) is making on this building, which will be a cornerstone of the 777X's advanced wing technology.
The building itself will be the largest single manifestation of Washington state's win of the 777X jet assembly.
Meanwhile In The Bakken

The Billings Gazette is reporting:
Oil field investments now represent 30 percent of all investments in the U.S. economy because the practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has become so prevalent.

Video Of The Day

I used to do this when I was in Yorkshire, England, with the USAF -- but not on my bike. LOL: