Noble Downgraded, again… It Simply Makes No Sense – Some Thoughts

nobleenergy

THE NOBLE ENERGY INC. DOWNGRADE?

To Our Readers (Disclosure Statement and Explanation):

This article should in no way be interpreted or misinterpreted to view it as a recommendation with respect to the purchase or sale of shares of stock in any company. It is not a market analysis or a ratings analysis in the traditional sense. We leave that to the experts.

However in light of our respect for the experts, we believe that the volatility and the changes in ratings, upgrades and downgrades simply don’t make any logical sense as one reviews these shares (NBL) in terms of the energy sector as a whole and gas and oil in the micro sense. Moreover, we have highlighted insider trading information in the final document in the thread which make absolutely no sense if we are to believe what the institutional investors are saying about the shares.

Having said that, please accept this article as a screenshot view of a stock that we believe is being manipulated to make it more or less palatable on any given day, in a coordinated effort to entice investors (a quasi reverse pump and dump); and in so doing to change the geopolitical bargaining of players across the world in the Middle East and others along the Mediterranean, including Greece, Cyprus all heavily involved in gas and oil exploration. We question the shares’ movement by the insiders, particularly given the timing of those sales; though we are not even hinting that the insiders behaved nefariously in their decision-making. We are only maintaining that something in the movement of the shares does not follow a logical pattern. 

In simpler terms, we believe that the shares and market sentiment are being manipulated; and once the dust settles, it will be very interesting to see who owns the largest percentages in the company and at what point and price they got there. It will be most interesting to see who will have final control over the company in the coming year, particularly given the geopolitical current in the Middle East.

Please see the articles below for what we believe to be most important points. We have highlighted some of the dots that we connected. 

 

Noble Energy (NBL) Downgraded by Capital One Financial to “Underweight”

Capital One Financial downgraded shares of Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) from an overweight rating to an underweight rating in a research note released on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratingsreports.

NBL has been the topic of several other reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an overweight rating on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Friday, September 28th. Raymond James raised shares of Noble Energy from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, November 7th. Morgan Stanley set a $38.00 price target on shares of Noble Energy and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, October 12th.

Cowen initiated coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Thursday, November 29th. They set an outperform rating on the stock. Finally, Mizuho set a $28.00 price target on shares of Noble Energy and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, November 28th.

Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $41.46.

Shares of Noble Energy stock opened at $18.17 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $9.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 58.61, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 0.81. Noble Energy has a 1 year low of $18.05 and a 1 year high of $37.76.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The oil and gas development company reported $0.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.16 billion. Noble Energy had a net margin of 25.09% and a return on equity of 4.82%.

The firm’s revenue was up 32.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.02) EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Noble Energy will post 0.98 EPS for the current year.

In other Noble Energy news, major shareholder Nbl Midstream, Llc sold 14,137,198 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.75, for a total transaction of $250,935,264.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.96% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NBL. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $207,000. Cognios Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,054,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. lifted its position in shares of Noble Energy by 50.0% in the 2nd quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 19,206 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $678,000 after purchasing an additional 6,404 shares during the period. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV lifted its position in shares of Noble Energy by 7.2% in the 2nd quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 32,976 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $1,163,000 after purchasing an additional 2,221 shares during the period. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Noble Energy by 27.1% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 92,174 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $3,245,000 after purchasing an additional 19,657 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.69% of the company’s stock.

Noble Energy Company Profile

Noble Energy, Inc, an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. It owns, operates, develops, and acquires domestic midstream infrastructure assets in the DJ and Delaware Basins. It principal projects are primarily located in the US unconventional basins and various global offshore conventional basins.

 

Analyst Recommendations for Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL)

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Leviathan Platform Making Its Way to Israel – Why Would Delek’s Shares Have Been Downgraded?

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Leviathan platform starts making its way to Israel

(MENAFN – Trend News Agency) Parts of Noble Energy’s Leviathan platform have begun making their way to Israel and are on schedule to be deployed off Israel’s coast in the first quarter of 2019. The legs of the gas rig – known as the jacket – are being transported to Israel on large barges pulled by tugboats, Trend reports referring to The Jerusalem Post .

The ‘jackets,’ gargantuan pieces of equipment built by teams of welders and engineers, were created in Texas by Noble Energy and subcontractors that specialize in constructing gas rigs. Each jacket is placed on a barge which extends 180 meters, longer than a soccer field.

Over the next few weeks, the barges will cross the Atlantic Ocean and will reach Israel. The jackets will then be installed on the floor of the Mediterranean, in a complicated process that will take between two and four weeks.

In the second half of 2019, the Topsides of the gas rig will arrive in Israel. That is where the rig’s workers operate and live. Gas is expected to start flowing from Leviathan toward the end of next year.

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Noble-Delek, Electricity, Price Hikes – the Beneficiaries are the Private Companies and their Investors…

israel electricity

A power station in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. (Reuters/Amir Cohen/File)

Netanyahu Promises to Keep Lid on Electricity Prices

 

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) –

In a bid to quell growing frustration over the rising cost of living in Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said electricity prices will rise less than the planned 8 percent.

“The price of electricity is significantly lower than in Europe, and I tell you that it will not rise 8 percent,” Netanyahu told the Globes business conference on Wednesday.

“I do not know how much it will rise but a few percent in the worst case.”

The price of electricity was set to rise as much as 8 percent on Jan. 1, while a host of other prices — from food to water to municipal taxes — are also supposed to go up in 2019.

With Israel heading into an election year, the rise in living costs has touched a nerve with the public, bringing back memories of huge protests in 2011.

A new wave of protests has begun in similar fashion to those in France, where protesters are wearing yellow vests.

Netanyahu said electricity costs have dropped 15 percent since 2013, after the Tamar natural gas field opened off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. He said the larger Leviathan gas field, slated to start production in a year, would lower electricity rates further.

Ram Shefa, one of the organizers of recent protests against rising living costs, said the plan to raise electricity rates meant Israel’s gas production was only benefiting the owners of the gas fields, Noble Energy and Delek Group.

Assaf Eilat, chairman of state-run utility Israel Electric Corp, told the Knesset Economics committee on Tuesday the average electricity hike would be about 7 percent.

“Even after the rise, the price of electricity in the last five years has fallen 10 percent,” Eilat said.

The high cost of living sparked mass protests in 2011 and significantly impacted the 2012 general election, with candidates promising to lower the cost of basic items.

Osem, Israel’s third-largest food maker which is owned by Nestle, had planned a 4.5 percent price hike but on Wednesday postponed the increase following public pressure and a request by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

Osem said in a statement Kahlon is examining the cancellation of tariffs on a series of raw materials used by the company for its production in Israel.

To read the article in Hamodia, click here.

Price Hikes in Israel, the Cost of Privatization and Capitalism?

JERUSALEM, Dec 19 (Reuters) – In a bid to quell growing frustration over the rising cost of living in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said electricity prices will rise less than the planned 8 percent.

“The price of electricity is significantly lower than in Europe and I tell you that it will not rise 8 percent,” Netanyahu told the Globes business conference on Wednesday.

“I do not know how much it will rise but a few percent in the worst case.”

The price of electricity was set to rise as much as 8 percent on Jan. 1, while a host of other prices — from food to water to municipal taxes — are also supposed to go up in 2019.

With Israel heading into an election year, the rise in living costs has touched a nerve with the public, bringing back memories of huge protests in 2011.

A new wave of protests has begun in similar fashion to those in France, where protesters are wearing yellow vests.

Netanyahu said electricity costs have dropped 15 percent since 2013, after the Tamar natural gas field opened off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. He said the larger Leviathan gas field, slated to start production in a year, would lower electricity rates further.

Ram Shefa, one of the organizers of recent protests against rising living costs, said the plan to raise electricity rates meant Israel’s gas production was only benefiting the owners of the gas fields, Noble Energy and Delek Group.

Assaf Eilat, chairman of state-run utility Israel Electric Corp, told parliament’s economics committee on Tuesday the average electricity hike would be about 7 percent.

“Even after the rise, the price of electricity in the last five years has fallen 10 percent,” Eilat said.

The high cost of living sparked mass protests in 2011 and significantly impacted the 2012 general election, with candidates promising to lower the cost of basic items.

Osem, Israel’s third-largest food maker which is owned by Nestle, had planned a 4.5 percent price hike but on Wednesday postponed the increase following public pressure and a request by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

To read the remainder of the article click, here.

Noble – Delek, A Lead Into Delek’s Share Prices and the Questions they Raise Part I, Israel and Egypt in Red Below

Oil and gas in the Eastern Mediterranean

2018 Roundup

This year saw the translation of international oil companies’ interest in the Eastern Mediterranean—following the discovery of Zohr, in Egypt, in 2015—into concrete projects, and the confirmation of the region’s potential, with a new and promising discovery in Cyprus. Egypt received its final liquified natural gas (LNG) shipment in September and is aspiring to become a regional gas export hub, following an impressive increase in production and the signing of agreements that could see the transport of gas from neighboring countries to feed its LNG plants for re-export.

At the start of the year, Lebanon signed its first offshore exploration and production agreements and is preparing to invite companies for a second bidding round in 2019.

Meanwhile, in Israel, the development of the Leviathan and Karish gas fields are on track. The country also launched its second offshore licensing round, counting on improved conditions this time around. This year also saw the confirmation of regional cooperation among those countries that already enjoy relatively good relationships, and reminded us that heightened political tension in this part of the world could evolve into a confrontation at any time, with a direct impact on companies’ operations.

Geopolitical risks, market conditions, and prospects for monetization will affect the attractiveness of the region’s resources. The decisive factor will, ultimately, be their competitiveness. Here is a quick overview of the major developments and milestones that marked 2018 in the region and an analysis of what to expect in 2019, 10 years after the first major discoveries in the Levant Basin.

Lebanon

The high point for Lebanon was the signing of two exploration and production agreements (EPAs) in January with a Total-led consortium (including Eni and Novatek) for blocks 4 and 9. The exploration plan was approved in May, and preparations are underway for Total’s first drilling in Block 4, expected toward the end of 2019. It will be followed by drilling in Block 9, which will be more politically sensitive, given that it will be conducted some 25 km north of the disputed maritime border with Israel.

The drive toward strengthening transparency in the sector continued in 2018 with the publishing of the EPAs in April (Lebanon is the first country in the Eastern Mediterranean to disclose signed agreements) and the adoption by Parliament in September of an oil and gas transparency law.

In June, Lebanon and Norway agreed to move onto Phase 3 of the Oil for Development Programme, which extends from 2018 until 2020. The initiative has been providing technical support to Lebanese authorities since 2006, particularly in the establishment of the legal and regulatory framework governing the sector.

Lebanon is also completing plans to import LNG for power generation. In May, the Ministry of Energy and Water launched a tender for up to three floating storage regasification units (FSRUs), after publishing the list of the 13 companies and consortia that prequalified to bid. The tender closed on November 21. Eight offers were received from the following bidders: Gas Natural Fenosa; BW, Vitol, Butec, Almabani, Rosneft; Excelerate, Shell, BB Energy; ENI, Qatar Petroleum Int. Ltd.; Golar Power Ltd., CCC sal; Total; Petronas; and the Phoenicia energy consortium (Gunvor, Exmar, EGC Egypt, Petrojet, Maridive, Primesouth). A final decision is expected by early 2019 but will have to wait until after a government is formed.

In May 2018, the government approved the LPA’s recommendation to prepare for a second licensing round. According to a tentative timeline published on the LPA’s website, the tender will be launched by the end of 2018. The absence of a government could be problematic if cabinet formation drags on indefinitely, since there is an intention to amend some of the documents governing the second licensing round, including the prequalification requirements, tender protocol, and the model EPA. If all goes according to plan, the prequalification round will take place between January and April 2019, with the results to be announced in May. Prequalified companies will have six months, between May and October 2019, to submit their bids, and EPAs are expected to be signed by the end of 2019. Delays in forming the government already threaten these deadlines.

Speaking of deadlines, the LPA’s mandate was set to expire on December 3. By law, it is possible to renew the mandate once. It was clear after the first few months of 2018 that this was where we were heading, as the selection process for a new board takes place over many months and no action was seen on this front. In the absence of a government to renew the mandate, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil issued a decision extending the LPA’s term, putting an end to a subject that the LPA, the energy ministry, and the government had evaded publicly discussing throughout 2018.

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Noble- Delek and Delek US Holdings, Inc. (DK)- All About the Money, Not the People

Nuveen Pennsylvania Municipal Value Fund (NPN) Forms $12.30 Double Bottom; Last Week Delek US Holdings, Inc. (DK) Coverage

Among 8 analysts covering Delek US Holdings (NYSE:DK), 7 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 1 Hold. Therefore 88% are positive. Delek US Holdings had 9 analyst reports since June 21, 2018 according to SRatingsIntel. The rating was maintained by Barclays Capital on Wednesday, October 3 with “Overweight”. The stock of Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK) has “Strong Buy” rating given on Monday, September 24 by Raymond James. The firm has “Overweight” rating by Morgan Stanley given on Monday, July 16. The firm earned “Neutral” rating on Monday, December 10 by JP Morgan. Credit Suisse maintained the stock with “Outperform” rating in Tuesday, October 9 report. As per Thursday, June 21, the company rating was upgraded by Goldman Sachs. Citigroup maintained it with “Buy” rating and $50 target in Tuesday, October 16 report. The firm has “Overweight” rating given on Tuesday, November 20 by Morgan Stanley. See Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK) latest ratings:

10/12/2018 Broker: JP Morgan Old Rating: Overweight New Rating: Neutral Old Target: $53 New Target: $48 Downgrade
20/11/2018 Broker: Morgan Stanley Old Rating: Overweight New Rating: Overweight Old Target: $62 New Target: $52 Maintain
16/10/2018 Broker: Citigroup Old Rating: Buy New Rating: Buy Old Target: $59 New Target: $50 Maintain
09/10/2018 Broker: Credit Suisse Old Rating: Outperform New Rating: Outperform Old Target: $67 New Target: $59 Maintain
03/10/2018 Broker: Barclays Capital Old Rating: Overweight New Rating: Overweight Old Target: $62 New Target: $58 Maintain
24/09/2018 Broker: Raymond James Old Rating: Strong Buy New Rating: Strong Buy Old Target: $70 New Target: $60 Maintain
02/08/2018 Broker: Mizuho Rating: Buy New Target: $60 Initiates Coverage On
16/07/2018 Broker: Morgan Stanley Old Rating: Overweight New Rating: Overweight Old Target: $58 New Target: $62 Maintain
21/06/2018 Broker: Goldman Sachs Rating: Buy New Target: $67.0000 Upgrade

Nuveen Pennsylvania Municipal Value Fund (NPN) formed double bottom with $11.44 target or 7.00% below today’s $12.30 share price. Nuveen Pennsylvania Municipal Value Fund (NPN) has $15.04M valuation. The stock decreased 0.64% or $0.15 during the last trading session, reaching $12.3. About 10,429 shares traded or 192.95% up from the average. Nuveen Pennsylvania Municipal Value Fund (NYSE:NPN) has declined 17.29% since December 14, 2017 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 17.29% the S&P500.

Delek US Holdings, Inc. operates as an integrated energy firm that provides petroleum refining and transportation services. The company has market cap of $3.24 billion. The firm operates in two divisions, Refining and Logistics. It has a 7.83 P/E ratio. The Refining segment owns and operates two refineries in Tyler, Texas, and El Dorado, Arkansas; and produces various petroleum products used in transportation and industrial markets.

Investors sentiment increased to Infinity in 2018 Q3. Its up Infinity, from 0 in 2018Q2. It increased, as 0 investors sold Delek US Holdings, Inc. shares while 0 reduced holdings. 1 funds opened positions while 1 raised stakes. 2.32 million shares or 152.75% more from 919,387 shares in 2018Q2 were reported. Huntington Bancshares invested 0% of its portfolio in Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK). Ion Asset Limited has invested 11.69% in Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK).

The stock increased 0.00% or $0.93 during the last trading session, reaching $39.47. About 1.97M shares traded or 3.15% up from the average. Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK) has risen 14.40% since December 14, 2017 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 14.40% the S&P500. Some Historical DK News: 02/04/2018 – DELEK US HOLDINGS INC – PROCEEDS FROM FACILITIES WILL BE USED TO REPAY OUTSTANDING BORROWINGS UNDER SEVERAL DEBT INSTRUMENTS; 19/03/2018 – DELEK SEES PROCEEDS ABOUT $72M; 04/04/2018 – DNO Pays GBP70.4 Mln for Delek Group’s Stake in Faroe Petroleum; 07/03/2018 – DELEK, NOBLE SAY IN TALKS TO BUY RIGHTS TO USE EMG PIPELINE FOR NATURAL GAS SUPPLY TO EGYPT; 21/03/2018 – DELEK DRILLING COMMENTS ON REGIONAL EXPORT PLANS; 07/05/2018 – Delek US 1Q Loss/Shr 43c; 21/03/2018 – DELEK DRILLING 4Q REVENUE $100.7M; 23/03/2018 – Delek US Holdings Presenting at Conference Mar 27; 31/05/2018 – DELEK GROUP LTD – LEVIATHAN PROJECT IS ON TRACK FOR PRODUCTION OF FIRST GAS DURING 2019; 19/03/2018 – DELEK US HOLDINGS – SIGNED, CLOSED SALE OF ALTAIR PARAMOUNT & DELEK’S PARAMOUNT, CALIFORNIA REFINING & PIPELINE ASSETS TO WORLD ENERGY LLC AFFILIATE

Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK) Ratings Chart

Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Noble-Delek and Dolphinus Holidngs

East Med rides the waves

Egypt, Israel and Cyprus all saw progress in their ambitions to develop the prodigious East Med basin in 2018

The one-time backwater that was the East Med continued its transformation into one of the world’s most prospective natural gas areas in 2018, with Egypt pushing the envelope through major projects and Israel also looking to get in on the act with a bold plan to send gas to its neighbour—and one-time supplier—Egypt.

Italy’s Eni, which discovered the giant Zohr field, which contains some 30 tr cf of gas, was reported earlier in the year to be preparing to carry out exploratory drilling at the Noor field, off Sinai, amid speculation that another Zohr-size discovery was in the offing.

Interest in Egypt piqued as a result of the increasingly attractive terms on offer to international firms. This helped smooth the way for a deal that could see gas from Israel’s giant Leviathan (21tr cf of producible gas) and Tamar (10tr cf) offshore fields reaching Egypt. Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek, operators of the two fields, signed an agreement in principle with private buyers in Egypt in 2018 to supply 226bn cf of gas over a 10-year period.

In February, Noble and its partners reached a deal with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings, a group of private sector companies, to sell gas from offshore Israel to Egypt. Though politically risky for Egypt, where dealings with Israel have historically been taboo, this has the backing of the Egyptian government and after years of halting progress, this now looks to be a game changer for the region.

Egypt saw some production developments in 2018. In August, SDX Energy announced that a successful production test had been conducted at its SD-3X appraisal well at South Disouq, Egypt. The well flowed at a maximum rate of 16.1mn cf/d during an 8-hr clean-up period.

In September, production capacity at Eni’s Zohr project, developed in conjunction with Russia’s RosneftBP and the UAE’s Mubadala, together with Egyptian companies, was increased more than 25pc to greater than 2bn cf/d. The increase was achieved through the commissioning of the fifth gas train at the site, as well as start-up of the second export pipeline and new wells. The field is expected to reach production capacity of 2.7bn cf/d by the end of 2019. During first-half 2018, 109.5bn cf of gas were produced at the field.

Greece’s Energean was meanwhile developing Israel’s Karish and Tanin fields, where 2.4tr cf of gas had been discovered but not developed. The Greek firm has concluded agreements with private Israeli power producers for the supply of a total of 148bn cf a year for 15 years. First gas is expected in 2021.

The year started on a strong footing when Eni and Total announced yet another gas discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean in February, located off the coast of Cyprus. The “Calypso 1” well suggests an extension of the Zohr like play, according to Eni—which was also active in Lebanon, where it signed deals to explore off the country’s coast.

Lebanon’s involvement is still low key, and it is held back by difficult geopolitics—traditionally the bane of the East Med’s development prospects. Antipathy between governments in the region could deter drilling. Turkish warships reportedly stopped Eni from drilling in Cypriot waters in February due to its non-recognition of the Greek Cypriot government. Lebanon and Israel have yet to reach agreement over the maritime border area, with some of Lebanon’s offshore blocks deemed by Israel to encroach into their maritime zone.

To read the complete article click here.