Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Al Jazeera America Signs Off For Good After A Run Of Less Than Three Years -- April 12, 2016

Breaking now: Al Jazeera America sends message from newsroom, signs off after a run of less than 3 years

1Q16 Earnings

This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, or relationship decisions based on what you read here. If this is important to you, go to the source. There will be factual and typographical errors on this page. If something looks wrong, it probably is.

Earnings Calendar

Earnings for the current quarter will be reported at this page; the link will be on the sidebar at the right, under "Earnings Central." When we start to see earnings reports for any quarter, the "Earnings Central" link is moved to the top of the sidebar until the earning season is over.

I don't have time to check/update earnings on all companies listed below. If you see one that I have missed, feel free to send it in (anonymous comment or by e-mail) and I will post it.

Much of this information is done in haste. I assume there are factual and typographical errors. It is for my personal use only. If this information is important to you, go to the source.

May 10, 2016

SCTY: crashes; shares fall 25%. 
While SolarCity reported much stronger growth than anticipated, there wasn't much else for investors to be happy with in the first quarter.
The company had forecast it would deploy 180 MW in the quarter, good for 18% growth, but instead it delivered 214 MW, up 40% from last year. However, its sales and marketing team only booked 160 MW of new business in the quarter, as the company spent the first few months of the year navigating a number of challenges, including the loss of Nevada as a key growth market, as well as changing regulations in numerous key solar states and the extension of the federal solar tax incentive. 
The uncertainty in the first quarter that drove weak bookings also meant the company's cost-per-watt -- the measure of how much its different expenses, such as sales/marketing, installation, and general/administrative, cost in on a per-watt basis each period -- jumped to its highest level in two years. The biggest driver by far was the company's sales expense, which, on a per-watt basis, nearly doubled to $0.97 per watt and was up 46% in total dollars. The biggest concern here is that management had committed only a few months back to start backing off on its sales/marketing expense growth. 
While this increase is certainly concerning, the bigger catalyst behind today's drop was the reduced guidance for the full year. When SolarCity reported 2015 full-year earnings, management guidance for 2016 included 1.25 GW of capacity installed this year.
Unfortunately, the very weak bookings in the first quarter led management to acknowledge that it will be difficult to "make up" for lost time before the end of the year. The updated guidance is for 1.0-1.1 GW for the full year.

May 9, 2016

Halcon (HK): a $540 million loss; a loss of $4.72/share; remove non-recurring losses and earnings come in at a loss of 21 cents/share; huge miss: forecast a loss of just one cent per share. But worse, analysts forecast revenue of almost $200 million; in fact, barely made $80 million;
NOG: forecast 4 cents/share; after removing non-recurring costs, only a one cent/share loss; with non-recurring costs, a huge $2.08/share loss; revenues of $21 million, falling short of forecast; 
Oasis (OAS): 40 cents/share but with non-recurring costs, a loss of just 18 cents/share; in-line; but revenues a huge miss; forecast $160 million vs only $130 actual; shares rose;
Tyson Foods (TSN): exceeds expectations; raises guidance; huge beat: 14 cents better than expected, from 96 cents forecast to $1.10 actual; 

May 5, 2016

CHK: quarterly loss narrows; will sell some acreage to Newfield Exploration for $470 million; reported a $1.44/share loss vs $5.72/share loss one year earlier.
DNR (Denbury): beats by 4 cents; misses on revenue;
EOG: will report after market closes; forecast -- a 84 cent/share loss; actual -- 86 cents/share loss; worse than expected; press release here; transcript here;
OXY: wider loss than expected; 41 cents/share loss vs 29 cents/share loss forecast; that was the Zacks report; here's the WSJ report:
Occidental reported a profit of $78 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a loss of $218 million, or 28 cents a share, a year prior.
The company posted a $203 million income-tax benefit in the latest quarter, compared with $19 million a year earlier, and income from discontinued operations of $438 million, compared with a $3 million loss from discontinued operations in the year-earlier period.
May 4, 2016

CLR: losses bigger than expected; a net loss of 54 cents per share; forecast 36 cents/share;
SRE: huge miss; $1.27 vs $1.47 forecast.
TSO: beats expectations despite $100 million in refining division;
WMB: reports weak earnings; 3 cents vs 10 cents forecast;

May 3, 2016

MDU: huge beat. First-quarter net income of $24.7 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.
On a per-share basis, the company had a  profit of 13 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 17 cents per share.
The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 13 cents per share.

OKE: misses by 2 cents; profit of 40 cents; Oneok shares have increased 45 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased 1 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $35.79, a decline of 26 percent in the last 12 months.

S: adds more phone customers than ATT, Verizon, but quarterly loss exceeds forecasts
Sprint's $8.07 billion in revenues exceeded forecasts of $8.02 billion, and the company reported progress in reducing costs. A loss of 14 cents per share was worse than FactSet's consensus forecast of loss of 12 cents per share, however. While the company has raised billions to address upcoming maturities, questions about Sprint's ability to grow into its balance sheet persist.

April 29, 2016

From the AP:

Exxon Mobil Corp.  on Friday reported first-quarter earnings of $1.81 billion.
On a per-share basis, the Irving, Texas-based company said it had profit of 43 cents.
The results exceeded Wall Street expectations, but Exxon does not adjust its reported results based on one-time events such as asset sales. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 31 cents per share.
CVX: forecast, a 20-cent/share loss; huge miss; loss was actually 39 cents;
TransCanada (TRP.TO): forecast, a 66 cent/share profit; posts profits; profit falls 35%; in-line, 66 Canadian pennies reported when one-time items removed; LOL;
April 28, 2016

Aetna: forecast $2.23; actual: $2.30.
Baxalta: forecast, $0.46; set to merge with Shire; beats, 47 cents.
CARBO Ceramics (CRR): a loss of 89 cents/share forecast; misses by 17 cents; huge miss; stock tanks;
LNG (Cheneire): a loss of 43 cents/share forecast;
COP: a loss of $.105 forecast; lower than expected loss; beats by 10 cents;
EPD: 32 cents forecast; in-line at 32 cents;
Ford: huge beat; forecast, 48 cents; huge day; best quarter since 1903; an incredible 68 cents/share
Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): forecast a profit of 15 cents/share; huge miss, at 6 cents;
NOV (National Oilwell Varco): a loss of ten cents forecast; loss narrower than expected; a loss of 6 cents;

April 27, 2016

HES: loss not as bad as expected

BHI: Wow! Talk about missing a forecast, from Zacks:
Baker Hughes posted wider loss than the consensus. Loss per share from continuing operations (excluding special items) came in at $1.58, higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents loss per share. This also came wider than the year-ago quarterly loss of seven cents per share.
Facebook, after market close, 62 cents/share forecast. Shatters forecast: 77 cents;.

First Solar, after market close, 93 cents/share forecast; link; hug beat -- $1.66! Wow.

QEP, after market close, a 60-cent loss/share forecast; link; record crude production at 56,900 bopd; increased development inventory in the Williston Basin; a huge net loss of $4.55/share.

STR, after market close, 51 cents/share forecast. Will merge with Dominion Resources.

Whiting, after market close, a 72-cent loss/share forecast; link; huge miss; a loss of 85 cents/share.

Xilinx, after market close, 52 cents/share forecast; link; beats at 54 cents; sales down 7%; will increase cash dividend from 31 cents to 33 cents.

April 26, 2016

AAPL, after market close, forecast $2.00; this could be the first year-over-year decline in revenues since 2003; CNBC; huge miss; will increase dividend 10%:
Apple reported quarterly earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates on Tuesday, and its guidance for the current quarter also fell shy of expectations.
The tech giant said it saw fiscal second-quarter earnings of $1.90 per diluted share on $50.56 billion in revenue. Wall Street expected Apple to report earnings of about $2 a share on $51.97 billion in revenue.

That revenue figure was a roughly 13 percent change against the comparable year-ago period — representing the first year-over-year quarterly sales drop since 2003.

ATT, after market close, forecast 69 cents; revenue jumps 24% on DIRECTV acquisition; beats forecasts; 72 cents/share;
Baxter: forecast 29 cents; huge beat at 36 cents
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) will report after market close, forecast 95 cents loss; first quarterly loss; sales tumble almost 30%; loses way less than expected; loses 88 cents/share;
Edwards Lifesciences (EW), after market close, forecast 66 cents; press release; sales grow 18%; adjusted EPS grew 25% to 71 cents; GAAP EPS was 66 cents; guidance raised

April 21, 2016

Alphabet, misses; huge miss on revenue. Spending too much on intermittent energy science projects:
  • Alphabet shares fell in Thursday after-hours trade after the company reported earnings and revenue that fell short of analyst expectations
  • Analysts expected Google-parent Alphabet to report earnings of about $7.97 a share on $20.37 billion in revenue
  • Alphabet reported earnings per share excluding certain items of $7.50
  • Alphabet reported $17.26 billion in revenue
MSFT, misses; 62 cents vs 64 cents forecast.
  • Microsoft reported quarterly earnings missed analysts' expectations on Thursday, while revenues came basically in line
  • The technology company posted fiscal third-quarter earnings per share of 62, compared to 61 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the quarter came in at $22.07 billion, against the comparable year-ago figure of $21.73 billion
  • Analysts expected Microsoft to report earnings of 64 cents a share on $22.09 billion in revenue
Starbucks (outstanding report)

  • Global comparable store sales increased 6%, comprised of a 4% increase in ticket and 2% increase in traffic 
  • Consolidated net revenues grew 9% to a Q2 record $5.0 billion Consolidated GAAP operating income increased 11% to a Q2 record $864 million Non-GAAP operating income increased 11% over Q2 FY15 non-GAAP, to a Q2 record $878 million Consolidated GAAP operating margin increased 30 basis points to a Q2 record 17.3% 
  • Non-GAAP operating margin expanded 30 basis points over Q2 FY15 non-GAAP, to a Q2 record 17.6% EPS increased 18% to a Q2 record $0.39 per share 
  • The company opened 350 net new stores globally, bringing total stores to 23,921 worldwide at the end of Q2 
  • Starbucks served nearly 16 million more customer occasions from its global comp store base - and over 12 million more customer occasions in the U.S. - in Q2 FY16 compared to Q2 FY15 
  • Membership in the company's Starbucks Rewards loyalty program increased 16% year-over-year and 8% in Q2 versus Q1 FY16; company now has 12 million active loyalty members in the U.S. 
  • Mobile Order and Pay usage doubled year-over-year; company now processing 8 million Mobile Order and Pay transactions per month
Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the custody bank under pressure from activist investors to improve results, reported a 5 percent increase in first-quarter profit as it cut expenses and benefited from higher interest rates in the U.S.
Net income rose to $804 million, or 73 cents a share, from $766 million, or 67 cents, a year earlier.
Analysts had expected earnings of 67 cents a share.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said it had profit of $1.16 per share.
The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.09 per share.
The railroad posted revenue of $4.83 billion in the period, which fell short of Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $4.9 billion.
Earnings of $1.06 per share, in-line; revenues rose 0.6% year/year to $32.17 bln vs the $32.48 bln forecast. Excluding AOLwhich was not part of Verizon a year ago, total operating revenues declined 1.5 percent. AOL had its highest first-quarter revenues in the last five years. New revenue streams from IoT (Internet of Things) are growing, with revenues of ~$195 million in first-quarter 2016, a year-over-year increase of about 25 percent. 
April 14, 2016

DAL: huge beat
Delta Air Lines Inc. reported first-quarter profit of $946 million.
On a per-share basis, the Atlanta-based company said it had net income of $1.21. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.32 per share.
The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.29 per share.
April 12, 2016

CSX Revenue Falls 14% as Coal Shipments Continue to Drop Railroad expects coal volume to decline more than 20% in 2016.
Revenue fell in the first quarter, as the volume of coal shipments, a key metric for railroads, dropped 31% to continue a trend that has hurt the top line for several quarters.
In February, the Jacksonville, Fla., railroad said earnings in the latest quarter would drop significantly as the railroad expected volume to decline in the mid-to-high single digits.
On Tuesday, CSX reported that total volume was down 5% for the quarter.
CSX expects coal volume to decline more than 20% in 2016 and see most other markets also declining year-over-year. Some 20% of CSX’s revenue last year came from coal versus an industry average of about 15%.
April 11, 2016

Alcoa: Alcoa, the S&P 500's first reporting company, released earnings after the closing bell on Monday (April 11, 2016).
The company reported revenue of $4.95 billion, down 15% from the comparable quarter and 6% from the fourth quarter of 2015. EPS were also lower as expected, down 75% to 7 cents from the comparable quarter's 28 cents.

EOG Doing Some Big Things In Clarks Creek -- April 12, 2016; Looks Like Hess Will Report A Nice Well In Alkali Creek

I should have waited another day to update this drilling unit. Yesterday, EOG was issued five more permits in this section -- see purple oval/purple text. Today, EOG was issued seven more permits on the same pad: see green oval/green text added today in the graphic below.

Based on the legal names, it appears that EOG will have 12 long laterals run from the north, to the south (sited in section 30, end in section 31); meanwhile, now we have another 12 permits, and based on their names suggest they will be running in the same sections, but from the south to the north (sited in section 31, ending in section 30). That's 24 horizontals in these two sections (some may be 1280-acre spacing; others may be 2560-acre spacing). In addition, there is already one well already producing in that drilling unit:
  • 20513, 2,365, EOG, Riverview 3-3130H, Clarks Creek, 49 stages, 9.8 million lbs, t3/13; cum 568K 2/16; producing about 7,000 bbls/month.
In addition, EOG will be drilling three more wells where this well is sited:
  • 17215, 2,227, EOG, Austin 27-10H, Parshall, t12/08; cum 575K 2/16 (only 8 days in 2/16)
Other items from today's daily activity report follows.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs3093190186209

Ten (10) new permits:
  • Operator: EOG
  • Fields: Clarks Creek (McKenzie); Parshall (Mountrail)
  • Comments: permits for 7 additional Clarks Creek wells in SWSE 31 will result in another 12-well pad (see below -- narrative with graphic)
No producing wells completed.

Five (5) permits renewed:
  • XTO (4), four Kenneth permits in Williams County
  • Enerplus, a Arnica permit in Dunn County
Five (5) permits canceled:
  • Crescent Point Energy (4), two CPEUSC Suitor permits, and two CPEUSC Lowe permits, all in Williams County
  • Abraxas Petroleum, a Yellowstone Boxer permit in McKenzie County
Wells coming off confidential list Wednesday:
  • 31911, SI/NC, Statoil, Enderud 9-4 6H, Banks, no production data,
  • 32030, 917, Hess, EN-Pederson-LW-154-94-0408H-6, Alkali Creek, 4 sections, 35 stages, 2.5 million lbs, t2/16; cum 20K 2/16; only 19 days in 2/16;

32030, see above, Hess, EN-Pederson-LW-154-94-0408H-6, Alkali Creek:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Unfracked Wells -- Lime Rock Resources With Two New Locations -- April 12, 2016

According to FracFocus, it appears these two wells (at the linked post) were not fracked -- two Anschutz wells, now Lime Rock Resources wells, were never fracked; now Lime Rock Resources has two new locations on the same pad; it will be interesting to see if they frack these wells.

I've added these wells to "Things That Need To Follow Up On."

Another Day With Lots of Moving Parts

Sophia and I will be visiting TCBY -- but don't tell anyone. My wife and our daughter will be attending an induction ceremony for our oldest granddaughter. The induction ceremony is for the Junior National Honor Society. Sophia prefers yogurt to attending induction ceremonies so we will do that instead. Meanwhile, the middle granddaughter will be at soccer practice; Sophia and I will pick her up after yogurt.

Meanwhile, here's Arianna with her congratulatory bouquet of flowers prior to the induction ceremony. She will change into evening dress prior to the ceremony later this evening.

And yes, she has an iPhone -- a "hand-me-down" from her parents. From Macrumors today:
Teen interest in Apple's iPhone continues to grow, according to data gathered by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in the latest semiannual teen survey. 69 percent of teens surveyed own iPhones, up from 67 percent in the Fall 2015 survey. 75 percent of teens queried expect their next device to be an iPhone, up 1 percent from the previous survey. 
Smart watches are not as popular among teens as smartphones, and only 12 percent of those surveyed owned a smart watch.
With teen smart watch owners, the Apple Watch was the model most often chosen -- of the 12 percent of teens who own a smart watch, 71 percent are Apple Watches. Just 10 percent of teens say they're interested in purchasing a smart watch, a number that's grown just two percent since fall of 2015.

Sometimes I Wonder -- April 12, 2016 -- War Is The Continuation Of Politics By Other Means

Housekeeping note: Whiting's P Lynch wells and P Earl Rennerfeldt wells have been updated. Although not often updated, nor new families added often, families are tracked here. If there is a family of wells (at least twelve wells from same pad or two neighboring pads) that is not at that post, I would be thrilled to hear about them.

Imagine the impact of the Keystone XL had it not been killed by the best and the brightest. From the EIA today:
Although total U.S. crude oil imports in 2015 continued to be lower than levels reached during the mid-2000s, imports from the United States' top foreign oil supplier—Canada—were the highest on record, according to annual trade data from EIA's Petroleum Supply Monthly. Canada provided 4 out of every 10 barrels of oil imported into the United States in 2015. --- EIA
But for the Canadians, hope springs eternal.

From March 4, 2016, once the price of oil starts to move (up or down), it tends to move quickly. Today, after an 11% jump last week, and 7% jump over the weekend, today's screenshot:

$40 oil is a lifeline for US shale oil.

$50 oil will allow most US shale oil companies to survive.

$60 oil, they will thrive.

For Saudi, when their national budget is based on $100 oil, there's not a lot of difference between $40 oil and $60 oil, all things being equal.

If Doha "fails," Goldman Sachs will talk oil back down to $20.

Just one man's opinion. It's a fool's errand to opine on oil prices which I would never do. LOL.

Doha: "The Council of Elrond." Elrond:
While there still could be a deal, some analysts see the chances of a meaningful agreement as slim. The reason is that bin Salman stated the kingdom's position and is unlikely to change his mind, barring a dramatic about-face in behavior from Iran.
"This could be the mother of all buy-the-rumor, sell-the-news," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital.
In a five-hour interview with Bloomberg, bin Salman recently laid out his position on a freeze deal, saying Saudi Arabia would participate only if major producers, including Iran, also participate.
Putin is no Gandalf.

Update, a few hours later, 3:30 p.m. Central Time, this from Business Insider:
Crude oil pops on report that Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to freeze production.Crude oil prices jumped on Tuesday after an Interfax report that Saudi Arabia and Russia reached an agreement on an oil-production freeze.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York surged by as much as 4% to a year-to-date high of $42.23 per barrel.
The Interfax report cited an anonymous source, and said Saudi Arabia and Russia made the decision whether Iran is in or not.
Bloomberg reported that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a message that "there is hope" for an agreement regardless of Iran. Iran had said it would not join a production-cut agreement, as it tries to boost output for export now that economic sanctions have been removed.
Russia and Saudi can stop Iran using the Clausewitz aphorism: war is the continuation of politics by other means. Saudi Arabia has already made Saudi's sea lanes off-limits to the Iranians. The Iranians are struggling to get their oil tankers insured. One unexplained Iranian tanker-loss-at-sea would bring their insurance to an end. Just saying.

The Inconvenient Truth

EIA: cheapest summer gasoline in 12 years.

Fifty percent of US crude oil comes from fracking.

Bernie Sanders wants to ban ALL fracking.

Hillary Clinton wants to make fracking too expensive to make it useful for drilling.

And there you have it. 

Notes for the Granddaughters

From Tom Shippey's JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century, a nice discussion of Christianity vs Manichaeism. From wiki, dome data points on Manichaeism:
  • a major religion founded by the Iranian/Persian prophet Mani, c. 216 - 276 AD; Sasanisn Empire
  • an elaborate dualistic cosmology
  • a struggle between a good, spiritual world of light and an evil, material world of darkness
  • through an ongoing process which takes place in human history, light is gradually removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light from where it came
  • beliefs were based on local Mesopotamian gnostic and religious movements 
  • Manichaeims was quickly successful and spread far through the Aramaic-Syriac speaking regions
  • thrived between the 3rd and 7th centuries; at its height was one of the most widespread religions in the world
  • churches and scriptures existed as far east as China, as far west as the Roman Empire
  • main rival: Christianity in the competition to replace classical paganism
  • survived longer in the east then in the west
  • finally faded away after the 14th century in China, contemporary to the Church of the East (the Nestorian Church, an early Christian church), during the Ming Dynasty
  • "manichean" widely applied (often as a derogatory term) as a synonym of dualism (a moral course of action involving a clear (or simplistic choice between good and evil

Ethanol Plant Plans Still On Track For Jamestown? -- April 12, 2016

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
JAMESTOWN -- Plans for a $150 million cellulosic ethanol plant at the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park are underway, according to Thomas Corle, founding partner of New Energy Investors, a Pennsylvania company.
If built, the ethanol plant would directly employ about 40 people with another 60 people working indirectly for the plant.
The JSDC Board of Directors on Monday approved recommending a $75,000 match to a $225,000 grant that New Energy Investors has applied for from the Agricultural Products Utilization Committee.
If the APUC grant is approved in May, the money would be used to continue the planning and engineering work for the project, said Robert Johnsen, CEO of New Energy Investors.
Corle said the planned plant would process corn stover, corn stalks and leaves removed from the field after the grain is harvested and wheat straw to produce ethanol for fuel and lignin, a solid fuel that can be burned by coal-fired generating plants reducing carbon emissions.
Corle said the plant would use proprietary technology developed by DONG Energy, which is Denmark's largest energy company.
The partnership between DONG and an American company is a first, Corle said.
“This will put Jamestown on the map,” he said. “This would be the first use of Danish technology to produce cellulosic ethanol in the Midwest. This will be covered by the national and international press.”
When operational, the plant will utilize about 190,000 tons of corn stover and wheat straw to produce about 13 million gallons of ethanol and 90,000 tons of lignin each year. This would amount to the crop residue from between 150,000 and 170,000 acres of cropland each year. Added income to the region’s farmers would amount to between $10 million and $15 million each year, Corle said.
Much, much more at the link.

MRO To Sell Non-Core Assets

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
Marathon Oil Corporation said on Monday it had signed agreements to sell non-core assets for $950 million, bringing its total sales through divestitures to about $1.3 billion since last August.
The oil and natural gas producer, which did not identify the buyers, said it will divest all of its Wyoming upstream and midstream assets for $870 million, excluding closing adjustments.
The Wyoming properties, mainly waterflood developments in the Big Horn and Wind River basins, averaged 16,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in first quarter 2016 production. The deal, expected to close in mid-2016, also includes a 570-mile pipeline.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016; The Chinese Love Ford SUVs; GM? Not So Much

Bloomberg: China is no longer the epicenter of global market activity. So which country is? Article doesn't say. Let's see if comments help: nope. Worthless article. Don't waste your time.

AP: demand for SUVs boosts China auto sales by 10 percent in March. Let's see which auto manufacturers stood out. Only three companies mentioned:
  • GM: deliveries slipped 0.6%
  • Ford: deliveries rose 5%, with SUV sales surging 29%
  • BMW: delivers rose nearly 11%
I guess even the Chinese don't like Government Motors

Tea leaves suggest this is going to be a stellar year for investors. But note, this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. I think the market hinges on the outcome of Doha, April 17, 2016 and the outcome in the rigged election scheduled in the US on/about November 7, 2016.

Oh, by the way, all those stories over the past year about lack of crude oil storage at Cushing, OK, and elsewhere? Never mind or is it, "nevermind?" The free market capitalistic economy that Bernie Sanders disparages has solved the storage problem, also.

Let's go back to that article to post these data points. The storage at St James, LA, which is crucial for North Dakota crude oil:
  • two midstream operators have added at least 13 million bbls of crude storage to the St James ub during the past 8 years
  • there are 12 refineries supplied by the St James hub
  • total crude oil storage at St James is currently just under 32 million bbls with an additional 3 million in maintenance (compare with 80 million bbls at Cushing)
  • NuStar is using 76% of its 9 million-bbl storage capacity
  • Plains is using exactly the same percentage, 76% of their 11 million-bbl storage capacity
  • NuStar is in the process of adding almost another 3/4 million bbls of storage capacity
  • most of NuStar St James terminal is designed for light crude oil (WTI, Bakken)
  • the first rail terminal (70,000 bopd) is mostly contracted to one shipper: EOG; EOG has exclusive use of 50,000 bopd; its rail-loading terminal is at Stanley, ND; EOG's use of CBR has declined; EOG hardly used this terminal in 2015 -- delivering 19 trainloads in 2015 
  • Plains will add another 1.5 million bbls of storage capacity in 2016
  • remember: Texas/Bakken condensate can be sent to western Canada as a diluent; however, Canada might be using natural gas as a diluent rather than Texas condensate
  • EOE's SPR, 2.8 million bbls storage; used by Shell/Saudi Aramco at a cost of $2 million/year to lease
  •  (70 cents/bbl/year)
  • Ergon Terminal: 2 million bbls storage capacity; can handle Aframax size vessels (up to 750,000 bbls)
  • MRO: has a huge 539,000 bopd refinery 20 miles away in Garyville, LA; linked by a company-owned 630,000 bopd pipeline
  • XOM: 400,000 bbls of storage capacity; utilizing only 43% right nw
  • LOCAP: 2.6 million bbls of operational storage; only 32% utilized
  • Capline: 3.5 million bbls of operational storage; 61% being utilized
  • Petroplex: construction of a proposed 10 million bbl storage terminal tied up in court over alleged lack of progress developing the terminal

Someday Everyone Will Own An Apple -- Cleaning Out The In-Box, April 12, 2016


Apple: still on top and the one bright spot in declining PC sales. From MacRumors -- worldwide Mac sales hold steady (actually increase slightly) as PC market SLUMPS almost 10% in 1Q16.
Amid a decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple's Mac sales have held steady, according to new PC shipping estimates from Gartner. During the first quarter of 2016, Apple shipped 4.6 million Macs worldwide and held 7.1 percent of the market, up from 4.56 million Mac shipments and 6.4 percent of the market during the first quarter of 2015.

While Apple only saw 1 percent worldwide growth, it fared better than the overall PC market, which saw total worldwide shipments of 64.8 million, a 9.6 percent decline from 71.7 million shipments in Q1 2015. Among other vendors, Lenovo and HP saw some of the biggest shipment drops with 12.5 million and 11.4 million shipments in 1Q 2016, down from 13.5 million and 12.5 million, respectively, in the year-ago quarter.  
I still "wish" Tim Cook would take the company private and I think there's a very good chance he he entertains the idea once the Mother Ship is completed. 


I'm not sure why this was in the in-box. But we will press on. Maybe there was something in the body of the article. The Wall Street Journal reports something we already know: Alcoa results hurt by weak aluminum price. Well, duh. Oh, this is it. The jobs that will be loss: Alcoa says it could cut up to 2,000 jobs as it prepares to split. And every week we hear from Washington, DC, the jobs picture has never been brighter. Unfortunately, the 2,000 jobs that will be cut by Alcoa are high-paying jobs with great benefits. 

And then we get this jobs story from Fox News. Yes, I know. As soon as one reads Fox News one stops reading or goes to the next story. Fox News is the least reliable news source out there. But we will forge ahead, fair and balanced. SEIU losing the battle by any measure.
The Service Employees International Union is believed to have spent $20 million on its campaign to have the minimum wage raised to $15 last year, according to a new report.
The report by the Center for Union Facts, a watchdog group, says that the new figure is in addition to the $50 million already spent since 2012. The numbers come from the 2015 financial disclosures released by the SEIU that were was analyzed by the CUF. [The spending was likely much more because staff salaries, legal services, and lobbying money was not included.]
And then this:
“While the SEIU has made some headway in its push for a job-killing $15 minimum wage, working Americans appear to be sending a clear message to SEIU big spenders: ‘Find a way to create jobs rather than diminishing them.’" CUF Executive Director Richard Berman said in a statement. “The $15 campaign may generate some legislative wins, but even former SEIU boss Andy Stern has acknowledged that this big-spending strategy isn't sustainable."
Followed by this story: former CEO of McDonald's says $15 minimum wage is a job killer. No, I did not read that article. I went on to read that the Kepler emergency is over; the probe has been stabilized and will continue its journey to look for intelligent life -- having not found much on Earth.


Debacle: the Dodge Dart: from USA Today -- there's no reason to post this story, but I've always wondered about the Dodge Dart. I thought it was second only to the American Motors Gremlin for ugliness; I thought it died long ago. But apparently not.
The Dart has been a disappointing car for Fiat Chrysler ever since it was launched in 2012. At the time, the automaker hoped the Dart would become a credible competitor to other compact cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
The car is a little larger than many of its direct competitors and was under-powered when it was launched. It also came in a dizzying array of color and option combinations that were intended to appeal to young buyers but made it difficult for dealers to predict which variations to order for customers.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne also said in January that both the Dart and the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan will "run their course" -- meaning they will eventually be phased out.
Until then, the Dart will be sold as the Dart SXT Sport, Dart Turbo and Dart GT Sport. Currently, the 2016 is available in SE, SXT, Aero, Limited and GT variants.
The good news: one can get a brand new Dodge Dart for about the price of a top-of-the-line Apple Watch.

GM's Orion plant: plans cancelled to build small Cadillac -- will move operations to Kansas to save costs. I can't make this stuff up. From The Wall Street Journal:
General Motors Co. has scrapped a plan to invest an additional $245 million in a factory north of Detroit to build a small Cadillac, with management deciding instead to build the future product in Kansas to contain costs.
The move, communicated to employees earlier in the year, threatens the security of workers at GM’s Orion assembly who have long dealt with uncertainty due to product mix. The plant, left open as a condition of 2009 federal auto bailouts, is working on one shift and logging overtime as the company plans to start producing the Chevrolet Bolt electric car in the facility later this year.
The company hasn’t confirmed the brand of the new product it plans to build, but multiple people familiar with the plans say it is a Cadillac luxury product designed to compete with other premium small cars. The vehicle will be built at the Fairfax facility in Kansas City, KS, a 3,200-worker factory that builds the Chevrolet Malibu sedan.
The story just gets worse and worse as you read through it, but nothing was said how the move to Kansas will save costs.

Reason #54 Why I Love To Blog -- April 12, 2016

Yesterday I posted/linked two stories about the trainwreck (their word, not mine) AKA ObamaCare AKA the All-But-Affordable Care Act (ABACA). Today, in The Boston Globe, the editors -- or least an op-ed -- opine that the model for ABACA, Romneycare, is another trainwreck, though they did not use that exact word. The headline: the misguided and costly evolution of Romneycare -- yes, that is in The Boston Globe, Romneycare was the blueprint for Obamacare. A few excerpts:
The Affordable Care Act is now six years old. Perhaps more important for Massachusetts, this month marks the 10th anniversary of “Romneycare,” making it a good time to review that law’s impact.
Governor Mitt Romney’s original proposal was simple: Stop subsidizing hospital care and redirect the money to ensure that all residents have “minimum coverage” — in his mind, catastrophic insurance. Individuals could choose and pay for anything beyond that. The premise was that taxpayers should not have to cover the cost of care for those unwilling to pay for it.
Today the Connector’s few offerings are over-standardized, with little variety or innovation in plan design. The exchange has attracted principally subsidized enrollees, and the remaining private market is very expensive.
Obamacare further altered Romneycare. Massachusetts’ troubled implementation of the ACA — including creation of a new exchange that became an IT disaster and triggered an ongoing FBI investigation — should disabuse anyone of the notion that these were parallel laws. Consider Massachusetts’ half dozen waiver requests from the federal law (one citing the fear of “extreme premium increases”); the introduction of Accountable Care Organizations; $10 billion in new taxes on medical devices, insurance, payroll for Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years; and a $14 billion reduction in Medicare Advantage payments
Survey results show variations in the uninsured population, but the rate appears to have dropped from around 9 percent to 3 or 4 percent. The rise in the number insured has plateaued, with a tenth of the population lacking coverage at some point during any given year.
The increased coverage was achieved almost exclusively through taxpayer-funded Medicaid (MassHealth). In fiscal year 2007 MassHealth served just over a million enrollees at a cost of $7 billion. The governor’s 2017 budget projects it will serve almost 1.9 million individuals, 30 percent of the state population, for $15 billion, or $8,000/person. [And it's going to get worse.]
Spending billions on higher Medicaid enrollments and generous exchange subsidies is a fiscally irresponsible way to increase coverage, especially without offsetting savings from reform of the costly Health Safety Net pool and with continuing billion-dollar “supplemental payments” to hospitals. 
For individuals, access remains an issue. Fewer report a routine source of care, doctor’s office wait times are long, and in some regions even insured patients struggle to locate doctors with availability in their practices. Over half of low-income individuals, many enrolled in free or heavily subsidized coverage, went without needed care last year, largely due to costs and access issues. Residents report difficulty paying their medical bills at virtually the same rate as in 2006.
Ten years into Massachusetts’ experiment with an “exchange,” the results demonstrate that it is time to re-think [Romneycare].
And so it goes.

Update On Crude Oil Storage At St James Hub -- RBN Energy -- April 12, 2016

Active rigs:

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RBN Energy: update on storage at St James.
Two midstream operators have added at least 13 MMBbl of crude storage to the St. James hub during the past 8 years (NuStar and Plains All American). These companies have invested in the hub because of its proximity to the Gulf Coast and pipeline connectivity to refineries throughout the Eastern U.S. and as far northwest as Edmonton, Alberta. St. James has also been an active recipient of crude flowing east across the Gulf by barge and tanker from the Eagle Ford via Corpus Christi. These crude movements require terminal, storage and blending facilities. Today we describe crude storage facilities at St. James.
In Part 1 of this series we discussed how the St. James, LA crude trading hub (located on the Mississippi River 60 miles upriver from New Orleans) provides feedstock to 2.6 MMb/d of regional refining capacity on the Eastern Gulf Coast as well as to refineries in the Midwest. St. James is also an important storage and distribution hub for crude produced in North Dakota, South Texas, the Gulf of Mexico and onshore Louisiana as well as imports arriving at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP). We detailed the 12 refineries that St. James supplies directly in the Gulf Coast region as well as pipeline connections bringing crude into and out of St. James. This time we detail the growth of storage capacity at St. James. 
According to our friends at Genscape, total crude storage at St. James is just under 32 MMBbl currently operational with another 3 MMBbl in maintenance. Storage capacity has grown rapidly in recent years in response to new flows of crude into St. James from domestic shale production in North Dakota and Texas. In their weekly supply hub report, Genscape list 7 storage operators at St. James and we provide more details on each of these below. Just two of these companies – NuStar and Plains All American – offer significant commercial storage at St. James with 20 MMBbl of capacity between them.
As we shall see, the rest is either privately owned by refiners or used operationally by the 8 pipeline systems that connect St. James with refinery capacity in the Gulf region and the Midwest. The chart in Figure 1 shows Genscape data estimating NuStar and Plains storage use over the past year at St. James. Storage use peaked in February and March of 2016. NuStar is currently (as of April 1, 2016) using 76% (6.8 MMBbl) of their 9 MMBbl of storage at St. James and Plains is using 8.2 of their 11 MMBBl capacity (76%).
In part the increased storage reflects record overall crude storage levels in the U.S. (569 MMBbl according to the latest Energy Information Administration – EIA data for the week ending April 1, 2016) and the Gulf Coast region (278 MMBbl) in the past several weeks – in response to low prices today and prospects of a higher prices in the future (a market condition known as contango.