Hurricane Energy (HUR) is a company that I’ve been following and covering ever since the days before it drilled the Lancaster appraisal well; through the times when it looked like it could be a big AIM success story; and more recently when it was uncertain as to whether it would even survive.
Oh dear, this looks like it is going to end in tears for Richard “Gollum” Gill and his colleagues at low grade crowdfunding outfit Crowd For Angels. The problem is that Verditek (VDTK) has still to announce any meaningful orders since its interims and thus is, as we speak, almost insolvent. And that would expose a black hole in Crowd’s own woeful balance sheet. The facts…
Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE) rather surprised a few investors with an after-hours placing RNS yesterday at a whopping 48.4% discount to the closing price of 4.85p just minutes before. Of course to any regular reader of this site it should come as no surprise whatsoever – I have been warning for the last 2 years! But there is worse to come in my view.
This really is Alice in Wonderland stuff. Sitting on the big mushroom is Dominic White, the ex-chairman of the Supply@ME Capital (SYME) fraud but also boss of Aquis listed Eight Capital Partners (ECP) whose last stated net assets were just £40,000. Now Supply promoter Zak Mir hands over the hookah to the dormouse. Please try to keep up.
Too many years being involved in the investment industry taught me a few things, including that aiming to “sell in May and go away” was comical. No doubt for the rich who have had to worry about the summer season between June and September, it may have made a bit of sense, but for lower middle class grafters like me the summer always offered more working opportunities than threats.
Whilst you might think that I’m mad to even be looking at the travel sector at the current time, I believe that often the fear of what might happen outweighs the actual reality, and often things don’t turn out as badly as people thought they might – the commodities sector during the first half of 2020 being a good example!
Last week the Gold price closed up just $6 at $1788. This week it has put in a slightly less modest increase to $1808. Gold has notched up a hat-trick of weekly gains; I’m not so sure that this means it is time for the return of the Gold bull-market just yet, but there are some positive signs.
Gold finished the week at $1782, having finished last week at $1764 – a modest improvement, but still a long way off $1900 which it was trying to clear before the Fed dropped the bombshell that it saw two rate rises…not this year, not next year, but in 2023!
The last time I was on a plane was in January 2020 and – as it happened – it was an easyJet (EZJ) flight. Over the years it is probably the airline I have travelled on the most, so certainly I am a bit of a fan. It also meant that I bought some stock during the dog days of last year. But what do I do now?
Last week I noted that the calamitous latest US jobs data had helped the yellow metal over the $1800 mark and Gold reached $1831 as the magnitude of the miss sank in. Jordan Roy-Byrne, of TheDailyGold.com had been predicting a rise to between $1825-1850 before hitting overhead resistance and this week saw inflation data pushing ever higher which was taken as a cue to sell off.
Michael Oliver warns that the charts tell you that equity markets are topping and points out that the large leading stocks are waning in these indexes. This could be a sign of trouble and evidence of a gradual decline into a bear market. He discusses how bonds are usually inverse to equities, and they are watching for a counter-trend rally. If significant funds get nervous, they will move to treasury bonds and gold.
Trader Francis Hunt “The Market Sniper” says that gold is acting as the bellwether for the collapsing global economy. Gold and silver will soon be unleashed, not unlike the recent major moves in palladium and rhodium. He says that a lot is happening behind the scenes that will affect precious metals, and he looks closely at the macro picture surrounding the markets and bonds.
Gold is up again this week. Two in a row! I wouldn’t like to say the correction which started last August is over, or even that the bottom is at last in, but I am optimistic on both scores. So what happened this week? The Fed, of course!
Last week I sensed that we were near the bottom of the correction in the Gold price at $1700 per oz. This week I see that Gold has risen to $1728: things are looking up! So have we finally seen off the grinding correction which started last August?
Back in August the Gold price peaked at $2063 and it has been more-or-less downhill ever since. On Friday the Gold price closed at $1700 – a 17.6% drop in around seven months. So is the Gold bull story all over? My answer is definitely no. But as a Gold Bull, I would say that, wouldn’t I!
Gold and silver have been extremely weak in recent weeks and investors, certainly retail, seem to be moving away from these metals, but I would question whether that is the right decision to make at this time.
New banking rules, known as Basel III, are being phased in. The implementation has already started, but there is one change which, for a Gold bull like me, seems to suggest there could be a stampede into Gold. But is that really true?
Money Manager Steven Van Metre admits that his macro thesis can be wrong in the short to intermediate-term but believes it will play out as interest rates collapse to zero. Those that are bullish on gold miners should also be bullish on bonds. He expects the GDX to fall and explains the relationship between it and the TLT. He believes bonds will rally, GDX will drop much lower, and then he can flip his portfolio into the junior miners. And falling mining equities often are a leading indicator of a coming liquidity event and a move lower by the broader equities.
The announcement by Pfizer (NYSE – PFE) that its Covid vaccine was 90% effective saw markets rally and gold drop sharply – initially by around $100. Yesterday saw vaccine no.2, from Moderna (Nasdaq – MRNA) announced, and the Dow Jones closed at an all-time record. But the effect on gold was much more limited…
Fund manager John Hathaway of Sprott argues that traditional portfolio weightings no longer work. Bonds today are return-free risk, which opens the door for gold since something has to replace bonds. He says that some large pension fund advisors are considering gold as a risk mitigator.
Hurricane Energy (HUR) promised so much but it looks like it will end up joining the long list of failed companies in the natural resources sector following recent updates, including the interims today.
And so Buzz Lightyear “QE to Infinity and beyond” of the US Federal Reserve spoke at the virtual Jackson Hole economic summit for the great and the good of Central Banking. Reading between the lines, we can expect higher inflation but interest rates will stay low on the other side of the pond. That, of course, means that US Treasuries are set to lose investors’ money as inflation eats into the capital invested. As we all know, if the US sneezes the rest of us catch a cold, so expect the same thing this side of the pond. That was the news, but there seems to be a point that has been missed.
One of the true highlights on the July online MineProphets shares conference was, in my view, my interview with David Scott of Andrews Gwynne. When we did that interview, David said he would let me know when he went negative on bonds and called an end to the 35 year bull market. This is that call.
The gold price is overdue a correction but keeps on going up. Gold shares are also overdue a correction and keep trying to slide – only to be pulled northwards again as the gold (and silver) price heads north. Do I care? Not really, because in a year’s time they will all be substantially higher. But there are some points worth making as I chew the situation over whilst relaxing on the veranda of my log cabin looking out over the woods.
Hello, Share Kickers. Normally I avoid shares in income funds as I prefer to make my own choices. But I rather like the look of the Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund (SEQI)...
Suddenly everybody sees the markets heading ever higher. China and the USA are apparently on the cusp of signing something which would at least mark a truce is the trade spat, central banks are again joining the feeding frenzy and life is good. UK markets are up, Asian markets are up and the USA is posting yet more records. And with all this uber-happiness, gold and gold stocks are also pushing higher. It is all good, but I thought that gold was supposed to be an asset of last refuge: why is it heading higher if stockmarkets in general are riding high? Surely it should be heading in the opposite direction.
It has been fascinating watching Sound Energy (SOU) play out over the past few years, but probably less so if you’ve actually been invested in it!
For those who missed out on Thomas Cook (TCG) which failed in its attempt to blag £200 million off her majesty’s government, the bonds in Sirius Minerals (SXX) - which failed in its attempt to blag $1 billion from HMG - are trading at 33 cents on the dollar.
There seem to be a number of mid-sized oil producers which have fallen out of favour with investors for quite some time now, and I’d definitely have to include North Sea-focussed EnQuest (ENQ) high up on that list...
I have made no secret of my view that Gold is an essential part of one’s portfolio. Not everyone will agree, but that is my view. In the light of what is going on now, those who have exposure will be perhaps the only people smiling right now. The one technical analyst rated by ShareProphets, Jordan Roy-Byrne of thedailygold.com has been forthright in his views that the metal is headed much higher over many years, after a very extended period of waiting, and although recently he had been suggesting a correction was due he remains a strong bull.
Hello, Share Jumpers. An aunt of mine allows a financial adviser to make share buying decisions for her through an umbrella wealth management firm. This may seem like a bit of a cop out, but the elderly can lose track of how their shares perform. So I keep an eye on the shares in her bag and have been happy with the firm’s performance so far...
Large mining projects often take a long time and huge amounts of investment before they finally come to fruition and actually start producing the raw material and a revenue stream. During that time the share price can experience a lot of volatility and I remain to be convinced that the majority of PIs have the patience to invest long term in this type of company, and in some cases there is an argument for buying in closer to production once everything has been sorted out and financing has been finalised...
Like London and Capital Finance (LCF) which has now collapsed into administration and is under FCA investigation, Blackmore Bond Plc also offers high yield bonds. It is currently offering 3 Year loans offering 7.9% every year with interest paid quarterly and 5 year bonds offering 9.9% every year paid quarterly. LCF’s 14,000 bondholders now face an almost certain capital loss on their “safe” investments
When investing in a company long term it is all about getting in at a good price, rather than having to buy right at the bottom of any temporary dips along the way, as long as things go to plan for the business.
Well that was a depressing week. Markets were crashing all around the world and the FTSE100 dipped below 7,000 for the first time since March, having lost around 500 points this month. Suddenly interest rates are going up, the Euro seems a tad wobbly in the face of Italian budget challenges and we’re all going to hell in a handcart.
It is a while since I updated on my small portfolio of high-yielders from the FTSE100. The idea of the portfolio – perhaps somewhat contrary to expectations – is that I am bearish, but am struggling to find somewhere to park my cash. Bond yields are low and prices high, but interest rates are rising so my simple mind sees capital losses there. You still can’t get any meaningful interest at the bank and property prices look set to (at best) stall. And to cap it all, I am nervous that the market might sell off. So I am investing here as a bear.
Hurricane Energy (HUR) remains a favourite of mine amongst the AIM listed companies which have appraised assets and booked reserves, and I think it is one of the few which will make it into production in the near future, and has the potential to grow much larger.
In a world in which "we do these things because they're easy", the outcome will eventually be very difficult and painful. On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave a famous speech announcing the national goal of going to the moon by the end of the decade. In a memorable line, Kennedy said we would pursue the many elements of the space program "not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Both nationally and internationally the overriding economic philosophy is currently "we do these things because they're easy" and relying on debt to pay today's expenses is at the top of the list. What's easier than using a line of credit to buy whatever you want or need? Nothing's easier than borrowing money, especially at super-low rates of interest.
Bubbles and Busts are both created by the US Federal Reserve and US Presidents are merely along for the ride. Presidents like to credit themselves for the bubble feel good upswing and then they look for scapegoats, usually the free market during the painful busts. Early on President Trump made a big mistake as he tried to portray himself as the cause of the current rise in the stock market...
Hurricane Energy (HUR) is a company that I have followed closely, and have been invested in at various times, since it first floated on the AIM market, and it has come a long way since then.
Having (quite correctly) been an out-and-out bear of AIM-listed and overindebted Igas Energy (IGAS) ever since we exposed the dealings of former trougher-in-chief Andrew “Piggy” Austin (before he was shown to the edge of the plank) the potential demise of the company has been on the radar. Here are ShareProphets we have flagged up the eventual destination of massive dilution for shareholders or just a round of toast and the company duly served up proposals for a refinancing at 4.5p. I’m still not completely convinced the board will pull off this deal but despite the dilution the terms proposed look to be a remarkable achievement by the new board – IF it can get it over the line.
I’ve been saying for an age that AIM-listed Igas Energy (IGAS) was a sell and this morning the denoument has arrived. In the wake of previous boss Andrew “Piggy” Austin and his dealings with Equities First, and his legacy to the new board of a massively overindebted company, this morning came the announcement that a restructuring is being attempted at 4.5p per share. I fear that poor Tom Winnifrth senior may be further deprived of that bottle of Ouzo. Actually, if the new board manages to pull this off I will take my hat off to it but there are some hurdles to overcome first.
Former AIM Casino disaster story United Cacao (CHOC) has updated the market this morning with regard to proposed changes to the terms of its bonds. If you are a shareholder and didn’t take Tom Winnifrith’s advice to get out, I suggest you look away now for as he predicted HERE it is indeed to be a near wipe-out even if the company survives.
Dual-listed on AIM and in Toronto via the TSX Venture exchange slipped out a no-one-is-watching o’clock RNS last night detailing some dealings by one of its directors. I had thought that director dealings had to be reported without delay, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that dealings dating back to 4 February – all the more so given that 4 February was a Saturday. Then there is the read-across from the acquisition by SDX of the assets of the corpse that was AIM-listed Circle Oil (COP) for shareholders in fellow AIM-listed Igas (IGAS) which has a few debt problems of its own.
The market doesn’t like uncertainty, and that is why Premier Oil (PMO) has been continuing to under-perform in comparison to some of its peers in the oil and gas producing sector in terms of the share price.
Like many producers, Premier Oil (PMO) has been struggling with debt since the oil price crashed a few years back. Some have managed to refinance the debt on their balance sheets, but for Premier the process has been dragging on for far longer than many expected and hasn’t exactly helped sentiment surrounding the company. Following today’s update though it looks as though that is finally about to be resolved.
A year ago I made AIM-listed Igas Energy (IGAS) my one suggestion – as a sell - as part of the ShareProphets tipfest for 2016. Without wishing to sound like a broken record, it is still a sell – and the clock is really ticking now especially in the light of this morning’s RNS.
Hello Share Squirters. The Footsie keeps on rising. Allowing for the usual Santa Rally, one wonders why? After all, as Uncle Tom keeps saying, the world is overloaded with debt and many big countries, like Italy, France and Spain, have shaky economies. There seems no obvious reason for shares to bloom.
AIM-listed and over-indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) released a “Corporate Update” RNS this morning. It seems to say nothing we don’t already know but the ShareProphets RNS Translation Service has a few observations (original in bold).
Shares may be zooming in the Trump rally but libertarian gold bug ( and all round super hero) Peter Schiff does not think it will last or is sustainable. But the first casualty of the bonds sell off will be commercial real estate warns Schiff in his latest podcast.
I previously pondered (HERE) what to do with markets seemingly (in my view) overvalued and due a correction. Taking cash off the table is the easy part (once one is resolved to sell up, that is) but where to put it was a bit of a question. Government bonds and cash offered little to nothing and in the wake of the Sterling flash crash it seemed that even cash wasn’t all that safe!
AIM-listed and over-indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) equity may still be valued by the equity markets at £36 million but the read-across from the bond market tells a very different story. I'm sure readers don't need reminding that when the equity and bond markets disagree, it is generally the latter which wins out. With the unsecured bonds in Igas now trading all the way down at just 20.94c in the $, the implication on the equity is clear: it is toast.
Yesterday AIM-listed and over-indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) was pleased to announced that Notts County Council had approved a planning application for the development of a hydrocarbon wellsite and the drilling of two wells. This, of course, is with a view to developing a fracking project.
The reference to Lego and the Daily Mail is HERE. In today's podcast I look at four bubbles that are bursting in a demonstrable way: bonds, residential property, crowdfunding - where the returns are shockingly bad - and health wristbands.
That AIM-listed Igas Energy (IGAS) is in trouble is in little doubt as the company battles with the over-indebtedness legacy of the Andrew “piggy” Austin days. KKR-backed Trans European Oil & Gas is in possession of a blocking holding of the secured bonds and the cash is draining away. But the latest warning sign comes not via the secured bonds, but via the unsecured bonds. The price has crashed from around 54c in the $ to just 28.6c in the $. The implication for the equity is clear.
Sirius Minerals (SXX) is a company that I’ve watched closely since 2010, and it has now reached a stage where a large proportion of the risk associated with its fertiliser project has been offset.
Yesterday afternoon AIM-listed and over indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) announced that it had sold some of the secured bonds hitherto held in treasury and that this has now shored up its finances such that it now no longer expects a breach of its daily liquidity covenant in 2016. Good news? Er, no – this simply kicks the can down the road (and not very far at that).
Yesterday saw Sky News unmask the mystery buyer of AIM-listed and over-indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) Oslo-traded secured bonds via the recent Dutch Auction conducted at 75c in the dollar – see HERE. We already knew that the previously un-named buyer had acquired a 34% stake in the bonds – enough to block any proposed debt restructuring that it didn’t like.
AIM-listed and over-indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) has just announced the result of its bondholder meeting. The unsecured debt voted the proposals through, but the secured debt voted it down. The company says it has not yet breached its bond covenants, but that this is now expected next week.
For all the positive news of late regarding permits for the fracking industry (even if its own application for planning permission from Notts County Council saw the decision deferred to next month), AIM-listed drowning-in-debt Igas (IGAS) still has the pressing problem of staying within its bond covenants. The company stated in its interims to June 2016, released on deadline day of 30 Sept, that it was expecting to breach its daily liquidity covenant in the second half of October – that could be as early as next Monday.
Hello Share Perkers. Nigel Somerville is not only a very nice chap but his analytical skills are legendary and his integrity, like everyone else's on this glittering website, is impeachable. (We quickly disappear from the ranks if we are found the slightest bit wanting). So when Nigel admits to nervousness at the current success of the soaraway Footsie, we have to take it seriously.
No doubt raging bull Malcolm Stacey will be crowing and snarling bear Tom Winnifrith will be growling as he changes the nappies: the FTSE100 has, again, popped up through the 7,000 mark. We can expect round 4,953 of the ding-dong between those two in the coming days. But what to make of it – are we on the cusp of a cracking selling opportunity or should we be filling our boots? And if we treat the latest gyrations as a chance to offload, what to do with the proceeds?
Rarely does one find good news in results which are released at the last minute, and in the case of Igas the recent record of fairly prompt reporting suggested that leaving the interims to deadline day would be a bad omen. This morning’s numbers and, more to the point, update on the bond situation reads badly – for all the positive spin applied. The numbers aren’t good, a bond covenant breach is expected in the second half of next month and then there is the question of how long it may be before the cash simply runs out.
When I penned my one and only suggestion in the 2015 ShareProphets Christmas tipfest, AIM-listed Igas Energy (IGAS) shares sat at 18.5p on a market capitalisation of £55.3 million. They have been all over the place since then – up as high as 21p twice and down as low as 10p. They are currently 12p as the last bubble nonsense deflates gently but has anything really changed? Er, no. The company is still drowning in debt which it can’t repay and the lit fuse is now almost ten months shorter. Igas remains a stonking sell.
Shares in Avanti (AVN) peaked at c50p following the reports in the FT that Inmarsat (ISAT) might have considered a 140p bid, a claim that seems ludicrous given the fact that Avanti is drowning in debt and needs a refinancing within weeks or it is tits up time. The shares have now drifted back to 37.375p today. Folks are starting to panic...perhaps they have looked at the bonds.
Shares in overindebted AIM-listed Igas Energy (IGAS) have shot out of the traps this morning on news that Theresa May is in favour of fracking and wants to bribe the locals into letting it happen. There is also a technical matter announced last week that Igas underwent a capital reduction which apparently strengthens the balance sheet......if only. The share price reaction has seen the shares race ahead by as much at 47% (30% last seen) but has anything changed? Er....
Moody's has downgraded its ratings on the junk bonds of Avanti Communications warning bond holders that they would probably get just 35-65% of their cash back. In that case the equity is worthless - note the explicit warning that Avanti will face a cash crisis potentially within weeks. Moody's states viz a viz the bonds " Moody's sees a default by Avanti over the next 6-12 months as almost inevitable." On that basis the target price for Avanti shares has to be ZERO. Sell while you can.
Sound Energy (SOU) has been one of the best performing small oil companies this year in terms of its share price, but when you take a closer look it is hard to see how it justifies anywhere remotely close to its current valuation.
We previously flagged that the "Dutch Auction" tender offer by an un-named client of Pareto Securities for the senior secured bonds of AIM-listed Igas Energy (IGAS) might present a bit of a threat to shareholders. We've now had the result of the tender offer...
I previously noted the importance of a successful conclusion to Premier Oil’s (PMO) bank lender discussions, and made the case that a very large equity raise was probably needed to put the company back on a sound footing. This morning finally sees some news on those lender discussions, made necessary by Premier’s inability to satisfy its covenants.
My Tesco series continues as we take a quick look at the Q1 results issued on Thursday, and check the market share trends for signs of stabilisation.
Friday saw confirmation from Tesco (TSCO) of two divestments which were anticipated to be in the works. The first is a proposed sale for cash of £30 million, while the second is the intention to sell (price not yet given). The news signals continued efforts to manage the company’s debt pile and the scale of its ambitions. Let’s take a look.
This morning AIM-listed and over-indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) released a trading update ahead of its AGM to be held this morning. The elephant in the room is, of course, its outstanding debt in the form of bonds - £103 million worth as at the last accounts – which mature in March 2018, less than two years away.
NewRiver Retail (NRR), the AIM-listed real estate investment trust focused on the retail sector, has announced its annual results this morning. It marks the latest chapter in a stock which is likely to land in mainstream ETFs and funds later in the year.
This morning came an announcement (see HERE) that North Yorkshire County Council has voted to allow the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas from a site in northern England. It is the first fracking permit in the UK since 2011 and all of a sudden over-indebted Igas Energy (IGAS) shares have leapt 25% on the news. Of course it does nothing to relieve the balance sheet issues facing Igas and as such this seems to be a cracking (or fracking) good shorting opportunity.
Anyone who held on to their shares in AIM-listed (pro tem) DQ Entertainment (DQE) ahead of the Nomad resignation-induced suspension had better look the other way now. The company has called the long-awaited EGM which was requisitioned to force through board changes and it looks as though a shareholder wipe-out very much on the cards.
Northern Petroleum (NOP) shares have slumped again today by 13% to 2.25p-3p. I fear it is going to get an awful lot worse with 0p a perfectly plausible target price. There are two problems.
Yesterday saw AIM-listed DQ Entertainment (DQE) release a trading update on its 75%-owned and Bombay listed Indian subsidiary, DQE Entertainment (International) Limited. It was well received by the market and DQE saw its shares advance by some 45.5%. That’s handy for anyone looking to get out, such as anyone with a loan in default being forced to sell their shares (before the Nomad, Allenby, quits in just over a week).
Shares in AIM-listed Igas (IGAS) have been heading south for almost two years. First we had the oil price coming off sharply. Then we had the Equities First scandal involving the former CEO selling shares when the market was told he was buying. And then the oil price slid some more. In early 2014 the shares peaked at 160p and it has been downhill all the way since then. The Christmas Eve close at 18.5p values the company at £55.3 million (source: ADVFN). But there is much further to go. Here are ten reasons why.
We have noted already - in the wake of dire interims - that AIM-listed Igas Energy (IGAS) has seen its bonds selling off to well below par value, and that Igas has warned on its bond covenants. The sell-off on its bonds has continued. With the shares having headed south before a bounce in the wake of favourable permitting news, shareholders might want to note the latest move in the bond price: it says sell.
After my Gulf Keystone (GKP) piece last week (HERE) drew the predictable furious response from Winnifrith (HERE), I’ve been looking into the company’s numbers in a bit more detail. There’s no denying that Gulf is teetering on the edge. However, it is not dead yet. Although it has little to no room for error, so long as the Kurds keep up their regular payments, it is possible that Gulf will be able to pay down its debt and refinance its balance sheet by April 2017. A broker note found its way into my inbox today, broadly supporting this view. It contained some interesting observations on Gulf’s debt position worth sharing.
In the next week we should find out whether or not the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is going to make good on its summer pledges. In August and September it promised to establish a regular payment cycle to the various oil producing companies active in the country for crude exports. Share prices of Gulf Keystone (GKP), Genel (GENL) and Norwegian firm DNO (DNO) leapt on the news. Two months and two payments later, the third should be due on or around 15 November. If Gulf receives another $15million, might this help restore some faith in the company’s future?
I got this piece written by a fellow called Simon Black, who runs the Sovereign Man website, today. Yes we live in la la land as Mr Black explains
This lunchtime, Worldview released details of the subject matter of the EGM it has called for at Petroceltic International (PCI). In response to the “past history of very poor financial management and false claims”, Worldview now seeks to place restrictions on the board and to stop it pledging the company’s “crown jewel, namely its participation in the Ain Tsila asset, as a security for a contemplated $175 million bond issuance”. Reading through Worldview’s full announcement and it looks like things are about to get bloody over at Petroceltic.
Ever keen to help people understand what is really being said, we have run today’s RNS from Afren (AFR) which announced a suspension of the shares pending clarification of the company’s financial position through our trusty ShareProphets RNS Translation Service. Here is what it said (original in bold):
One of the things which investors should ask themselves is: who gains? And with reference to Afren (AFR) this is a pertinent question. It surely is clear as day that it is the bondholders who have been calling the shots (or shorts!) since the company essentially ran out of cash. At any moment, the bondholders could have called in their cash and Afren would have been toast. That they didn’t suggests that the current proposals on the table offer the bondholders a better deal. It surely is better for shareholders too – the alternative being a certain wipe-out, as opposed to a gamble on recovery – but should shareholders put more of their cash into Afren via the Open Offer? I have grave reservations.
The voting at yesterday's AGM from Afren (AFR) was interesting, to say the least. Whilst there was only a tiny proportion of shareholders who took part, there was a rather curious result. The majority of the resolutions got overwhelming support, not least the re-election of Alan Linn, who is the new head of the company.
It has been some time since I wrote about Afren (AFR) but, suffice to say, anyone who chose to ignore the warnings about what would happen in a restructuring will now be sitting on very severe losses. From memory, I first called Afren out as a short at 7p, and then added heavily to that position as retail buyers drove the price up to as much as 14p. On Friday, the firm announced that the predicted dilution was on its way as a vast amount of shares would be issued to bond holders in exchange for a very modest reduction in debt:
Gulf Keystone (GKP) has managed to raise $40 million before expenses (let’s call that $38 million via a heavily discounted placing at 32p. This is a can kick. It is applying a sticky plaster when your arm just fell off. Bond holders will be laughing, for shareholders the wailing and gnashing of teeth is far from over.
I am a bondholder in Afren (AFR), having bought in size in recent days as the company has revealed its cash flow problems. I haven't bought very well, I'm afraid, paying far too much early last week at 41c, although I did add significantly at 34c, without paying accrued interest into the bargain. That means that, in the unlikely event that the coupon due on 31st January 2015 is paid within the 30 day "grace period", I'll have bought at the equivalent of about 28c.
George Papandreou is back in the game in Greece. This is big news and in this podcast I suggest a small bet on Greek equities on bonds might be in order as a result. Do elections matter for equity investors? I discuss both Greece and also the UK election in May.
US equities continue to rise Heavenwards and we wonder how long that can go on, given the high valuations they have already reached? The S &P 500 Index reportedly values its constituents on an average multiple of 16 times estimated, prospective average earnings. That we learn is about 13% higher than the average ratio on the Index over the last decade.
Hello Share Shovers. There are alternatives to the old-fashioned trading of shares when it comes to making a bit of money. Some of these ways become a bit more enticing when the old stock markets are a bit soft, as they are now.
Mike Swanson is the founder and chief editor of WallStreetWindow and author of the book Strategic Stock Trading. Mike ran a hedge fund from 2003 to 2006 that generated a return of over 78% for its investors. Hence my colleagues at Palisade Capital interviewed him on his controversial thoughts on gold stocks. He is a bull.
It is very difficult to put much of a positive spin on today’s bond issue and placement by Xcite Energy (XEL). The funding is extremely expensive, the terms Xcite has entered into are worse than those it previously had and it looks like at least one of the company’s major funders has decided not to continue backing it. This is all bad news for Xcite’s new strategy to commercialise its North Sea Bentley oil field, as the market appears to have priced this project for likely failure. There are a couple of faint glimpses of hope, but I now have to revisit my call to buy this stock, from just over a fortnight ago.