The Ratings Industry Is A Stupid Place

Let’s just take a second to really breath in the absurdity that takes place around us on a day by day basis, shall we?

Here is a recent history of analyst recommendations for BAS (one of my favorite positions, I will say right off the bat, since it traded at $12).

Untitled

Look specifically at the ratings being issued by Wunderlich Securities. On October 28, 2013, Wunderlich downgraded BAS from a Hold to a Sell. Then, yesterday, they upgraded BAS from a SELL to a HOLD.

And now let’s look at the price action in BAS.

(CHART NOT WORKING: Link until I can fix it)

Wunderlich almost marked the explosive upside to the inflection point. If we don’t go anywhere, they will have “downgraded” 100% of equity gains.

Okay so Wunderlich blew the call and got it wrong. They then reversed their rating to a Hold from a Sell (if you listened you missed out on a move that is being converted to a logarithmic scale on most finance sites). Fair enough – mistakes happen.

That’s not what irritates me. This is what irritates me:

Will This Upgrade Help Basic Energy Services (BAS) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Basic Energy Services Inc. (BAS_) was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” at Wunderlich Securities.

The firm upgraded their rating based on improvements in the weather and natural gas prospects.”

Will this upgrade help BAS? I would fucking hope not

I don’t want to sound indignant here because I guess as a shareholder, any good news is welcome. But…Christ…

We have just devolved to the point of putting anything out there that we can slap a curious headline on to whore a few hits on a website. After a miss like that, why should Wunderlich Securities’ have the ability to move markets with regards to BAS? If I were to make a list of analyst opinions I care about when it comes to BAS, Wunderlich (and basically half the others on that sheet at the top of this post)…they’re not even at the bottom, okay? They’re not even on the list.

The 24/7 “news about nothing” cycle just starts to grind on you after a while. We have a multi-million (billion?) dollar industry that seems to exist for the sole purpose of employing people to tell me stuff. Why I should listen though…as of yet, nobody has really explained that.

Maybe The Street should instead do a story about how many analysts (including their own) completely missed an obvious buying opportunity. And if you relegate yourself to those sites (rather than read the grassroots efforts of iBankCoin or like), you probably had no idea.

Because less I let this slip by, here’s The Street’s own rating for BAS:

TheStreet Ratings team rates BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

“We rate BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC (BAS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.”

What’s that? Sorry I’m too busy being up 130% on this position to hear you.

Look what fracking company just landed another long term supply contract

HCLP just amended another supply agreement to jack up the amount of sand one of their customers is obligated to buy every month. This is the third one this year.

Per MarketWatch
:

Houston, Texas – April 8, 2014 – Hi-Crush Partners LP (NYSE: HCLP), or Hi-Crush, today announced the entry into of an amendment to the supply agreement between Hi-Crush Operating LLC, a subsidiary of Hi-Crush, and FTS International, LLC, or FTSI, a leading provider of well completion services. The amendment significantly increases the number of committed volumes under the agreement, extends the term of the supply agreement and requires FTSI to pay a specified price for a specified minimum volume of frac sand each month. “Hi-Crush is excited to further extend and strengthen our relationship with FTSI by entering into this amendment,” said James M. Whipkey, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Crush. “We consider FTSI a valuable partner as we continue to expand our market presence, and fulfilling our customers’ needs is a top priority for Hi-Crush.”

And when they say “requires FTSI to pay a specified price for a specified minimum volume of frac sand each month.”…question? Do you suppose that would mean a higher “specified price”?

I would suppose it would.

This follows the news yesterday that HCLP was going to have themselves an offering to completely buy out any competing interests in their Augusta facility.

Read here:

Houston, Texas – April 8, 2014 – Hi-Crush Partners LP HCLP +2.31% (“Hi-Crush” or the “Partnership”) announced today that it has entered into a contribution agreement with Hi-Crush Proppants LLC (the “Sponsor”) to acquire certain equity interests in Hi-Crush Augusta LLC (“Augusta”), the entity that owns the Sponsor’s raw frac sand processing facility located in Augusta, Wisconsin. As previously announced, Hi-Crush acquired a preferred interest in Augusta on January 31, 2013.

“We are delighted to announce this acquisition, which we expect to be immediately accretive,” said Robert E. Rasmus, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Crush. “With this transaction, we will double the Partnership’s production capacity to 3.2 million tons per year. The Augusta plant has a current capacity of 1.6 million tons of coarse Northern White frac sand per year. Beyond that, we have the capability to expand the Augusta plant by an additional 800,000 tons per year and have started the process to obtain the permits required for this expansion. The expansion will bring total rated capacity at the Partnership to 4 million tons per year. We expect the expanded capacity to come on-line in the second half of 2014.”

Under the terms of the transaction, the Partnership will pay cash consideration of $224.25 million. At the closing of the acquisition, the Partnership’s preferred equity interest in Augusta (currently providing $3.75 million in distributions per quarter) will be converted into common equity interests in Augusta, and the Partnership will own 98% of Augusta’s common equity interests. “We expect that the acquisition of common equity interests in Augusta will contribute more than $30 million of incremental annual EBITDA to the Partnership, before any expansion to the Augusta plant,” said Mr. Rasmus. The acquisition is expected to close by mid-May 2014, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. In connection with the acquisition, Hi-Crush expects to refinance its existing revolving credit facility.

We need to follow the sand. Where the sand goes, the profits will go also. No buyouts – if these guys enter into a cash offer for my units on my behalf, I’m going to blow a gasket.

These moves are going to double HCLP’s revenue immediately. That will play into the hand of existing investors as bigger operations allow the executives of HCLP to leverage their logistics operations and gain market share.

I’m not even going to look to see if HCLP is paying top dollar premium on this deal – I’ll spare you the time, the answer is “I don’t care.”

This trend in the economy is only growing. These guys survived Aubrey McClendon blowing up the natural gas sector, and together with targeted well services like BAS, they’re going to dominate.

The shares aren’t even phased at the announced dilution yesterday to pay for the acquisition. Have a look.

04-09-14 HCLP 18 Months

Here’s the tagline:

HCLP – This Shit Is Going Higher

BAS Continuing The Epic Run

Check out Basic Energy Services, up another 4.5%, flirting with $27.00 as it steadily pounds its way to $30.00.

HCLP is playfully tagging along, after the doldrums took it down back below $40.00 this week. And well it should – they’re in the same industry after all. What’s good for BAS is great for HCLP.

Uranium is slack and UEC is dying (very small position). CCJ is back to it’s old range, and I am saddened by that.

But this is a buying opportunity make no mistake of that.

Remaining Calm

As I said yesterday, it doesn’t make any sense for me to slam on the alarms and start flipping switches. Reversing machinery has a cost associated with it, and I’m not doing all that just for a little hiccup.

BAS is running higher today. That’s reassuring. My account is mixed, although what is down is dragging me lower.

My +14% year has slid to a +11%…hardly the stuff of night terrors.

Check out HCLP, back below $40.00. This is a screaming buying opportunity. The company is growing revenues at a 100% annual clip, for crying out loud. And to be frank with you, I don’t think that growth rate is all that sensitive to the economy right now. It’s based on the natural gas cycle – I mean, I’m sure there’s a level of wanton destruction where HCLP gets gutted, but it’s a lot more pressure than what I’m seeing cooking right now.

If BAS can trade higher and natural gas optimism is where it’s at, HCLP is a bargain steal at these prices.

First The Good News, Then The Bad

Most of my portfolio is now solidly shrugging off Yellen’s slip of the tongue. Our good bankster friends over at JPMorgan said it best – Yellen is fresh and inexperienced, and she still needs to learn how to speak without actually saying anything.

It will come. It will come.

Despite my state of shock at watching Yellen crack the market like an egg yesterday, I didn’t react. I want to watch a few more days before I make a move, even if they should lose me money. With a +14% year going, I have buffer room.

Now, the good word here is that CCJ and BAS are both moving higher. I suspect HCLP will join in soon as well (that position can be rewarded a little breather, it’s come a long way). The energy themes are solid and intact.

The bad side of the coin is that fear/reality of higher interest rates is going to just ravish the REIT and associated housing space. Check out VNQ over a five day period, and you can almost sink the cracking point up with Yellen’s comments. My current position AEC is breaking down again this morning, and an old position MAA is following.

This has to be treaded carefully. If you’re juggling garbage like NLY, I’d say you’re one four day panic away from another round of 30% losses.

I’ve said well before today, back when I never imagined Yellen would spook interest rates higher, that I was interested in rebuying MAA. This is sort of a blessing in that regards. I’d venture a guess that long term damage to multifamily REITs from higher interest rates will hover somewhere between “negligible” and “not damaging, actually positive”.

But well before that point, there will probably be a lot of indiscriminate selling from emotionally driven fund managers. The climax of that, if it should materialize, is the buying opportunity.

Between then and now, it’s important to keep a wary eye on reform efforts to Fannie and Freddie. There’s been some “bipartisan chatter”. Mortgage origination is >70% dominated by the government backed mortgage giants, and the entire housing market is totally dependent on them. A poorly thought out reform effort could rain chaos. But there’s no sense even having a discussion about that just yet. First things first, interest rates.

Another Day, Another Big Meltup

CCJ is up another 1.3%. BAS is fighting for a +3% on the day. HCLP wants to hit that $41.00 mark, currently up 1.67%. NRP (my only loser so far this year, down 20% from my purchase price) is up 3.3%, back above $16.00. AEC is racing +1.1%. UEC (small position) is up 2.4% (but that thing swings around $1.70 +/- 20%, so let’s just call it flat…).

Really, silver is the only thing I own that’s down. And my emergency put positions are essentially all worth $0.00 – so I took about another 2-3% loss this year from those.

I am looking to re-enter MAA at some point.

And YTD my account is soaring, well above +14% for 2014.

Look, these daily posts, reminding you of how much money I’m making; I get that they’re a little boring.

What do you want from me?

I’m not going to be spending my time researching new positions when I really just want to hang on to what I already have.

My advice to you is to hold on to the things you should have been buying when I was doing research. That’s the high reward play right now – to sit back and reap the fruits of our labors. This has been due for a few years now.

That and to fling manure at enemy politicians who are watching their public ratings getting sucked into a vortex.

The Ratings Industry Is A Stupid Place

Let’s just take a second to really breath in the absurdity that takes place around us on a day by day basis, shall we?

Here is a recent history of analyst recommendations for BAS (one of my favorite positions, I will say right off the bat, since it traded at $12).

Untitled

Look specifically at the ratings being issued by Wunderlich Securities. On October 28, 2013, Wunderlich downgraded BAS from a Hold to a Sell. Then, yesterday, they upgraded BAS from a SELL to a HOLD.

And now let’s look at the price action in BAS.

(CHART NOT WORKING: Link until I can fix it)

Wunderlich almost marked the explosive upside to the inflection point. If we don’t go anywhere, they will have “downgraded” 100% of equity gains.

Okay so Wunderlich blew the call and got it wrong. They then reversed their rating to a Hold from a Sell (if you listened you missed out on a move that is being converted to a logarithmic scale on most finance sites). Fair enough – mistakes happen.

That’s not what irritates me. This is what irritates me:

Will This Upgrade Help Basic Energy Services (BAS) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Basic Energy Services Inc. (BAS_) was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” at Wunderlich Securities.

The firm upgraded their rating based on improvements in the weather and natural gas prospects.”

Will this upgrade help BAS? I would fucking hope not

I don’t want to sound indignant here because I guess as a shareholder, any good news is welcome. But…Christ…

We have just devolved to the point of putting anything out there that we can slap a curious headline on to whore a few hits on a website. After a miss like that, why should Wunderlich Securities’ have the ability to move markets with regards to BAS? If I were to make a list of analyst opinions I care about when it comes to BAS, Wunderlich (and basically half the others on that sheet at the top of this post)…they’re not even at the bottom, okay? They’re not even on the list.

The 24/7 “news about nothing” cycle just starts to grind on you after a while. We have a multi-million (billion?) dollar industry that seems to exist for the sole purpose of employing people to tell me stuff. Why I should listen though…as of yet, nobody has really explained that.

Maybe The Street should instead do a story about how many analysts (including their own) completely missed an obvious buying opportunity. And if you relegate yourself to those sites (rather than read the grassroots efforts of iBankCoin or like), you probably had no idea.

Because less I let this slip by, here’s The Street’s own rating for BAS:

TheStreet Ratings team rates BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

“We rate BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC (BAS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.”

What’s that? Sorry I’m too busy being up 130% on this position to hear you.

Look what fracking company just landed another long term supply contract

HCLP just amended another supply agreement to jack up the amount of sand one of their customers is obligated to buy every month. This is the third one this year.

Per MarketWatch
:

Houston, Texas – April 8, 2014 – Hi-Crush Partners LP (NYSE: HCLP), or Hi-Crush, today announced the entry into of an amendment to the supply agreement between Hi-Crush Operating LLC, a subsidiary of Hi-Crush, and FTS International, LLC, or FTSI, a leading provider of well completion services. The amendment significantly increases the number of committed volumes under the agreement, extends the term of the supply agreement and requires FTSI to pay a specified price for a specified minimum volume of frac sand each month. “Hi-Crush is excited to further extend and strengthen our relationship with FTSI by entering into this amendment,” said James M. Whipkey, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Crush. “We consider FTSI a valuable partner as we continue to expand our market presence, and fulfilling our customers’ needs is a top priority for Hi-Crush.”

And when they say “requires FTSI to pay a specified price for a specified minimum volume of frac sand each month.”…question? Do you suppose that would mean a higher “specified price”?

I would suppose it would.

This follows the news yesterday that HCLP was going to have themselves an offering to completely buy out any competing interests in their Augusta facility.

Read here:

Houston, Texas – April 8, 2014 – Hi-Crush Partners LP HCLP +2.31% (“Hi-Crush” or the “Partnership”) announced today that it has entered into a contribution agreement with Hi-Crush Proppants LLC (the “Sponsor”) to acquire certain equity interests in Hi-Crush Augusta LLC (“Augusta”), the entity that owns the Sponsor’s raw frac sand processing facility located in Augusta, Wisconsin. As previously announced, Hi-Crush acquired a preferred interest in Augusta on January 31, 2013.

“We are delighted to announce this acquisition, which we expect to be immediately accretive,” said Robert E. Rasmus, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Crush. “With this transaction, we will double the Partnership’s production capacity to 3.2 million tons per year. The Augusta plant has a current capacity of 1.6 million tons of coarse Northern White frac sand per year. Beyond that, we have the capability to expand the Augusta plant by an additional 800,000 tons per year and have started the process to obtain the permits required for this expansion. The expansion will bring total rated capacity at the Partnership to 4 million tons per year. We expect the expanded capacity to come on-line in the second half of 2014.”

Under the terms of the transaction, the Partnership will pay cash consideration of $224.25 million. At the closing of the acquisition, the Partnership’s preferred equity interest in Augusta (currently providing $3.75 million in distributions per quarter) will be converted into common equity interests in Augusta, and the Partnership will own 98% of Augusta’s common equity interests. “We expect that the acquisition of common equity interests in Augusta will contribute more than $30 million of incremental annual EBITDA to the Partnership, before any expansion to the Augusta plant,” said Mr. Rasmus. The acquisition is expected to close by mid-May 2014, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. In connection with the acquisition, Hi-Crush expects to refinance its existing revolving credit facility.

We need to follow the sand. Where the sand goes, the profits will go also. No buyouts – if these guys enter into a cash offer for my units on my behalf, I’m going to blow a gasket.

These moves are going to double HCLP’s revenue immediately. That will play into the hand of existing investors as bigger operations allow the executives of HCLP to leverage their logistics operations and gain market share.

I’m not even going to look to see if HCLP is paying top dollar premium on this deal – I’ll spare you the time, the answer is “I don’t care.”

This trend in the economy is only growing. These guys survived Aubrey McClendon blowing up the natural gas sector, and together with targeted well services like BAS, they’re going to dominate.

The shares aren’t even phased at the announced dilution yesterday to pay for the acquisition. Have a look.

04-09-14 HCLP 18 Months

Here’s the tagline:

HCLP – This Shit Is Going Higher

BAS Continuing The Epic Run

Check out Basic Energy Services, up another 4.5%, flirting with $27.00 as it steadily pounds its way to $30.00.

HCLP is playfully tagging along, after the doldrums took it down back below $40.00 this week. And well it should – they’re in the same industry after all. What’s good for BAS is great for HCLP.

Uranium is slack and UEC is dying (very small position). CCJ is back to it’s old range, and I am saddened by that.

But this is a buying opportunity make no mistake of that.

Remaining Calm

As I said yesterday, it doesn’t make any sense for me to slam on the alarms and start flipping switches. Reversing machinery has a cost associated with it, and I’m not doing all that just for a little hiccup.

BAS is running higher today. That’s reassuring. My account is mixed, although what is down is dragging me lower.

My +14% year has slid to a +11%…hardly the stuff of night terrors.

Check out HCLP, back below $40.00. This is a screaming buying opportunity. The company is growing revenues at a 100% annual clip, for crying out loud. And to be frank with you, I don’t think that growth rate is all that sensitive to the economy right now. It’s based on the natural gas cycle – I mean, I’m sure there’s a level of wanton destruction where HCLP gets gutted, but it’s a lot more pressure than what I’m seeing cooking right now.

If BAS can trade higher and natural gas optimism is where it’s at, HCLP is a bargain steal at these prices.

First The Good News, Then The Bad

Most of my portfolio is now solidly shrugging off Yellen’s slip of the tongue. Our good bankster friends over at JPMorgan said it best – Yellen is fresh and inexperienced, and she still needs to learn how to speak without actually saying anything.

It will come. It will come.

Despite my state of shock at watching Yellen crack the market like an egg yesterday, I didn’t react. I want to watch a few more days before I make a move, even if they should lose me money. With a +14% year going, I have buffer room.

Now, the good word here is that CCJ and BAS are both moving higher. I suspect HCLP will join in soon as well (that position can be rewarded a little breather, it’s come a long way). The energy themes are solid and intact.

The bad side of the coin is that fear/reality of higher interest rates is going to just ravish the REIT and associated housing space. Check out VNQ over a five day period, and you can almost sink the cracking point up with Yellen’s comments. My current position AEC is breaking down again this morning, and an old position MAA is following.

This has to be treaded carefully. If you’re juggling garbage like NLY, I’d say you’re one four day panic away from another round of 30% losses.

I’ve said well before today, back when I never imagined Yellen would spook interest rates higher, that I was interested in rebuying MAA. This is sort of a blessing in that regards. I’d venture a guess that long term damage to multifamily REITs from higher interest rates will hover somewhere between “negligible” and “not damaging, actually positive”.

But well before that point, there will probably be a lot of indiscriminate selling from emotionally driven fund managers. The climax of that, if it should materialize, is the buying opportunity.

Between then and now, it’s important to keep a wary eye on reform efforts to Fannie and Freddie. There’s been some “bipartisan chatter”. Mortgage origination is >70% dominated by the government backed mortgage giants, and the entire housing market is totally dependent on them. A poorly thought out reform effort could rain chaos. But there’s no sense even having a discussion about that just yet. First things first, interest rates.

Another Day, Another Big Meltup

CCJ is up another 1.3%. BAS is fighting for a +3% on the day. HCLP wants to hit that $41.00 mark, currently up 1.67%. NRP (my only loser so far this year, down 20% from my purchase price) is up 3.3%, back above $16.00. AEC is racing +1.1%. UEC (small position) is up 2.4% (but that thing swings around $1.70 +/- 20%, so let’s just call it flat…).

Really, silver is the only thing I own that’s down. And my emergency put positions are essentially all worth $0.00 – so I took about another 2-3% loss this year from those.

I am looking to re-enter MAA at some point.

And YTD my account is soaring, well above +14% for 2014.

Look, these daily posts, reminding you of how much money I’m making; I get that they’re a little boring.

What do you want from me?

I’m not going to be spending my time researching new positions when I really just want to hang on to what I already have.

My advice to you is to hold on to the things you should have been buying when I was doing research. That’s the high reward play right now – to sit back and reap the fruits of our labors. This has been due for a few years now.

That and to fling manure at enemy politicians who are watching their public ratings getting sucked into a vortex.

Previous Posts by Mr. Cain Thaler