Friday, August 1, 2014

Microsoft's Job Cuts Are Finally Getting the Company to Think Straight

This article was originally published by TheStreet, and also appeared on Yahoo! Finance, on  July 22, 2014.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After months of speculation, Microsoft (MSFT_) announced unprecedented job cuts last week, targeting its recently bought Nokia division. Two top analysts say this move will give the world's biggest software vendor a renewed focus, allowing it to double down on new expanding businesses such information management, the cloud, or security.
While the job cuts appear to be driven primarily by the Nokia phone division acquisition, Mark Bowker, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, has said that Microsoft's restructuring efforts are pivoted toward its vision for the future, as opposed to the macro trends in the industry where technology giants have often resorted to layoffs to revive their flagging growth. Merv Adrian, Gartner's lead analyst on Microsoft, has predicted that Microsoft will continue growing in areas where it is seeing momentum.

Monday, July 28, 2014

EOG Resources: Should You Sell The Best American Shale Oil Stock At 52-Week High?

This article was originally published by Seeking Alpha on July 22, 2014.


Summary: EOG Resources is currently trading close to its 52-week high. EOG Resources has four key strengths that sets it apart from its competitors. Let's take a look at its production growth plans and valuation.


The shares of EOG Resources EOG have rallied this year and are currently trading close to its 52-week high of $118.89. Does this mean that investors should cash out on their investments? To find out, let's dig deeper.

EOG Resources is one of the leading independent energy companies of the U.S, with total estimated net proved reserves of 2.1 billion barrels of oil equivalents. The company's growth has been driven by the shale revolution.

Focus on Oil

What sets EOG Resources apart from other energy companies is that firstly, unlike some of its peers such as Devon Energy DVN and Chesapeake Energy CHK, whose growth has been driven by the shale gas boom, EOG Resources has largely focused on shale oil. As a result, EOG Resources has been immune from the downward trend in the gas industry coming from the glut in prices which nearly drove Chesapeake to bankruptcy and forced the transformation of Devon Energy.

Diverse Portfolio

Secondly, there aren't a lot of shale-oil focused energy companies out there whose reserve portfolio is as diversified as EOG Resources. Most of the companies in this sector are mainly producing oil from a one or two shale plays. For instance, Continental Resources CLR, another unconventional oil producer, is a  …. Read full article at Seeking Alpha.
     

Friday, July 25, 2014

These U.S. Energy Stocks Might Get Trapped in Ukraine Conflict

This article was originally published by TheStreet on July 18, 2014. 

By Sarfaraz A. Khan
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Obama administration Wednesday announced its largest package yet of economic sanctions against Russia, hitting the country's biggest oil producer Rosneft (RNFTF_) and other energy firms in a move that could also wind up hurting U.S. energy companies that operate in the region.

Samsung Seeking Growth in the Booming Tech 'Wearables' Market

This article was originally published  by TheStreet on July 17, 2014.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Samsung (SSNLF_) -- the South Korean electronics giant that makes Galaxy, one of the world's most popular smartphones -- is looking to solidify its foothold in the market of wearable devices by teaming up with apparel and accessories maker Under Armour (UA_) .
South Korea's Yonhap news agency has reported that Lee Jay-yong, vice chairman of Samsung's electronics division and the heir apparent to the top job, met with Under Armour founder and CEO Kelvin Plank earlier this month. The meeting could be a response to the long-standing partnership between Samsung's biggest rival, Apple (AAPL_), and Under Amour competitor Nike (NKE_).
According to research firm IDC, the wearables market is expected to grow almost 80% per year through 2018. Samsung already dominates the smartwatch marketplace and is looking to expand beyond wrist-wearables. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

All Hail Whiting Petroleum, the New King of the Bakken

This article was originally published by TheStreet on July 14, 2014. 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) --  Whiting Petroleum (WLL_) plans to buy peer Kodiak Oil & Gas(KOG_), which will make it the king of the prolific Bakken Shale formation.
The acquisition will boost Whiting's production and reserves, which is why the company believes the deal will have a positive impact on cash flow, earnings and production per share starting next year.
The deal shows Whiting's resolve to play a central role in the rise of the Bakken formation as North America's leading shale field in terms of barrels-per-well.
Kodiak Oil and Gas, like Whiting, is a Rocky Mountain-focused exploration and production company. The deal is valued at $6 billion.

Buy Apache: Turnaround Of The Year With 2 Major Catalysts

This article was originally published by Seeking Alpha on July 14, 2014


Summary: Apache could be a successful turnaround story of the year. Apache is transitioning into a North America onshore focused E&P company on the back of massive divestitures.

There are two major catalysts that investors should watch out for, in the near term. Last year, investors cheered when Apache (NYSE:APA) sold a significant portion of its operations in Egypt. This year, the exploration and production company's stock could rally again as it gears up to sell its LNG assets.

In a recent interview, Barclays' analyst Thomas Driscoll has said that investors should watch out for Apache in 2014-15 as the oil giant's turnaround story unfolds.

Apache has been working on a massive restructuring program, which includes asset sales, in order to cut down its debt and increase its focus on the lucrative North American onshore operations.

The Transition

In the early 1990s, Apache began international expansion by entering Egypt and Australia. By 2009, Apache was getting 34% of its output from North American onshore operations. Nearly 19% came from the Gulf of Mexico while the rest, 47%, came from Egypt, North Sea, Australia and Argentina. Back then, Apache decided that it is going to become a North American onshore focused exploration and production company, reducing its exposure towards international markets as well as deepwater resources. And this is exactly what it has done.

In the previous quarter, Apache got 62% of its production (pro forma basis) from its North American onshore business, just 2% from the Gulf of Mexico and …. read full article at Seeking Alpha 

Continental Resources and EOG Are the Big Winners of the Shale Boom

This article was originally published by TheStreet on July 10, 2014. 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. is on track to become the biggest oil producer on the planet, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia thanks to the shale revolution.
Oil majors Exxon Mobil (XOM_) and Chevron (CVX_) have failed to capitalize on the shale boom, playing second fiddle to their relatively smaller exploration and production peers Devon Energy (DVN_), Chesapeake Energy (CHK_), Continental Resources (CLR_) and EOG Resources (EOG_).
But despite playing a major role in the shale boom, natural gas-focused Devon and Chesapeake and oil-focused Continental and EOG aren't profiting equally. Right now Continental and EOG are the winners.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Boeing Could Keep Flying High For The Next 20 Years

This article was originally published by Seeking Alpha on July 10, 2014


Summary: Boeing sees continued growth in the industry over the next two decades.The single-aisle market and strong demand from the Asia Pacific region are the two main factors fueling this growth. Yesterday, Boeing announced a massive new order from Emirates Airline. How does it stand against its biggest competitor, Airbus?

Boeing (NYSE:BA) is firing on all cylinders as it gears up for the Farnborough International Airshow. Yesterday, the company said that it has won a massive order from Emirates for 150 aircraft. Today, it came forward with a rosy outlook that could continue to fuel its growth over the next twenty years.

Long Term Outlook

Earlier today, Boeing said that it sees the demand of more than 36,000 new airplanes over the next two decades, that's 4.2% higher than its previous estimate. The company has valued these panes at $5.2 trillion.

This growth will be driven by the strong demand from the single-aisle market, thanks to the rise of the low-cost carriers. The company projects that more than 25,000 new airplanes will be needed in the single-aisle and 8,600 in the twin-aisle market.

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Boeing said that a significant portion of this growth, more than 36%, will be driven by customers from Asia-Pacific, including China. The country, which will be responsible of 40% of the orders from Asia pacific, is on track to become the largest aviation market, surpassing the U.S.


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New Orders

The positive outlook bodes well for Boeing's long-range, twin-engine aircraft, such as … read full article at Seeking Alpha.