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Contrarian Investors May Find Opportunity in First Solar, Inc. (FSLR)

February 24, 2015

Ben Kallo, Analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co., says First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) remains his top pick in spite of negative sentiment around the stock. He says it is a contrarian call, but that investors should remember that First Solar is one of the leaders in the solar industry. “First Solar arguably has the strongest balance sheet in the industry, which provides a lot of flexibility in their growth plans,” Kallo says. “In underlying the business, First Solar has a differentiated technology which I think will help it in its growth plans, not in 2015, but on into 2016 and 2017 and beyond.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE...
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Rebound in China Likely for Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)

February 23, 2015

Robert W. Baird & Co. Analyst Ben Kallo says he expects to see growth return to Tesla Motor Inc’s (TSLA) story in China. He says weakened demand in China has had an impact on the stock price in the short term, but he doesn’t expect the effect to continue. “In the short term, I think obviously it’s had an impact on the stock price for Tesla, and that is really the first time they, in a very loud way with Elon at the Detroit Auto Show, have brought it up,” Kallo says. “Tesla had spoken about exploding demand. Now there had been other regions where their similar type of demand characteristics have occurred, particularly in some parts of Northern Europe — also Germany was slower to develop than Tesla had originally expected — but because China is such a big market, and because Elon had talked about China being a major part of the growth story, that it reached into a lot of negative attention from investors...
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Above-Average Earnings Growth Likely for Dominion Resources, Inc. (D)

February 20, 2015

Andy Pusateri, Analyst with Edward Jones, says Dominion Resources, Inc. (D) is one of his favorite utility stocks for 2015. He says the stock is trading near all-time highs and at a peak multiple, but that it is also poised for above-average earnings growth based a couple of factors. “One is regulated utility investments. So utilities are allowed to earn regulated returns on the investment that they are making on the equity component of that investment,” Pusateri explains. “Dominion has a lot of opportunity to make investment, and generation, electric transformation and gas distribution, so I think that’s good, regulated, safe, visible growth that investors like...
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New Builds Create Risk for Southern Co (SO)

February 20, 2015

Edward Jones Analyst Andy Pusateri has a “sell” rating on Southern Co (SO). He says the stock’s valuation is high, and that the company has more risk relative to the traditional growth trajectory of most regulated utilities because of two new builds the company has underway. “One is a clean coal plant in Mississippi that’s nearing completion, and they have had a lot of issues with cost overruns as well as time delays in constructing that plant,” Pusateri says. “They are to the point there where they have kind of hurt some regulatory relationships in Mississippi, and also the customers are done paying for any cost over, so the shareholders are going to have to eat any additional problems...
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Wisconsin Energy Corp (WEC) Looks Expensive Among Utility Stocks

February 19, 2015

Edward Jones Analyst Andy Pusateri has a “sell” rating on Wisconsin Energy Corp (WEC). He says he does not see a fundamental flaw with the company, management or strategy. “When I look at Wisconsin Energy, the issue is really valuation, and utilities in general obviously have been on a good run and are trading near an all-time high,” Pusateri says. “Wisconsin Energy is in the same boat; if you look at our 2015 estimate, it’s trading at nearly 20 times earnings. That’s very high for a utility in general, especially utility with a growth outlook like we see for Wisconsin Energy.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE...
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Entergy Corporation (ETR) Targets Up to 3,000 Megawatts of New Generation

February 19, 2015

Entergy Corporation (ETR) CFO Andrew Marsh says the company has a lot of infrastructure needs in terms of strengthening reliability and efficiency and lowering costs for customers. Specifically, he says management anticipates a need for an additional 2,400 to 3,000 megawatts of incremental generation. “We have an industrial renaissance going on in the southern part of our service territory, mainly along the coast in Louisiana and Texas,” Marsh says. “It may be a matter of timing; demand may slow if the industrial renaissance does, and if this happens, it is most likely at the end of the decade.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE...
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Justin Timberlake’s Southern Hospitality Aims for Fast-Casual Market

February 18, 2015

Mitchell Roth, President of Bourbon Brothers Holding Corporation (RIBS), a holding company with two restaurant concepts, is looking to move open a fast-casual version of its Southern Hospitality brand. Southern Hospitality was originally created in NYC by Eytan Sugarman and Justin Timberlake. “We thought this was particularly important because, in my opinion, fast casual is where the industry is going. Fast casual outpaced casual dining five to one in 2013, and to a large degree, I think that the reason for that is because of the evolution of consumer taste and preferences in the restaurant space. You are seeing Millennials, who are a very powerful generation at this point, really impacting the restaurant space,” Roth said...
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Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) a Good Play in Weak Oil Price Environment

February 18, 2015

RBC Capital Markets Analyst Leo Mariani says Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) is one stock that is well-positioned during the current weak oil price environment. It operates in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale, which Mariani says are two of the lowest-cost plays in the U.S. “The company also has a very strong balance sheet as well, one of the best in the industry, and they have a very strong hedge book,” Mariani says. “So really, the low prices that we’ve seen over the past several months haven’t impacted them as much with their hedge book as other companies.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE. Mariani says he expects Pioneer to be able to get some production growth during the weak price environment in 2015...
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EQT Midstream Partners LP (EQM) Positioned to Continue Strong Growth

February 17, 2015

Bernard Colson, Managing Director and Senior Analyst for MLPs at Oppenheimer & Co., says EQT Midstream Partners LP (EQM) is one of his top stock picks for 2015. He believes the company is positioned to continue strong growth. “Number one, they have no commodity price exposure in a direct way. All of their contracts are fee-based contracts,” Colson says. “Number two, they’re leveraged in kind of a manageable way. I mean, every MLP is going to have some debt. You’re not going to have any MLPs that don’t have any debt, but they have a manageable level of debt.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE. In addition, Colson says EQT has a significant cash flow cushion and a strong, supportive parent company, both of which make the stock a defensive investment...
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Total SA (ADR) (TOT) Likely to Have Strong Cash Flow Over Next Few Years

February 17, 2015

Oswald Clint, Analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., says Total SA (ADR) (TOT) is one of his favorite names in the oil & gas sector. He likes the French integrated oil company for a number of reasons and says it peaked in terms of its investment in 2013. “So the capital requirements of this business are declining, and ultimately we believe project execution is good, project quality is high, and we believe cash flow strength will also be very strong over the next couple of years, and I think that’s what drives our confidence in this particular name,” Clint says. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE. Total has historically had better returns relative to other integrated oil & gas companies, Clint says...
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Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (RDS.A) Reduces Capex on Unconventional Shale Resources

February 13, 2015

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Analyst Oswald Clint recently upgraded Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (RDS.A) to an “outperform” rating. He says his upgrade was based in part on Shell’s decision to reduce spending on unconventional shale resources in North America. “I guess we watched a lot of money being spent to the tune of $26 billion, and we weren’t quite sure that the results from that expenditure would equal growth, higher returns, or even returns that match the returns of their North American business, which has been 20% return on capital for quite a period of time,” Clint says. “We felt it was too much of a move in the wrong direction and it would dilute the returns from a strong business line, and that’s what got us cautious on the stock through 2012, 2013 and some part of 2014...
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Capital Return an Important Piece of Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. (PCL) Story

February 13, 2015

Portfolio Manager Robert Hordon of First Eagle Investment Management says Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. (PCL), one of the largest private landowners in the U.S., is now one of the top 10 holdings of his firm’s Global Income Builder Fund. “As a firm, we have been involved with it for many years. We find Plum Creek attractive for several reasons,” Hordon said. “First, from a valuation perspective, we think the prices that are currently being paid for timberlands in the private market would support a materially higher valuation for the company as a whole, along with the potential for selling land for higher and better use purposes, such as real estate development...
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Strong Balance Sheet Offers Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) Protection From Low Oil Prices

February 12, 2015

RBC Capital Markets Analyst Leo Mariani recommends Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) in the current low oil price environment because he says the company is more protected from commodity prices than some of its competitors. Mariani says Newfield sold some assets during 2014 and was able to put away some cash, resulting in a very strong balance sheet. “Additionally, they also have a strong hedge position for the next few years,” Mariani says. “So this weakness won’t bother the business as much as it may some others.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE. Newfield also has good properties in the Anadarko Basin in the scoop/stack plays, which Mariani says are emerging plays...
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QEP Resources Inc (QEP) Well-Positioned With $1 Billion Cash

February 10, 2015

Raymond James & Associates Analyst Andrew Coleman says QEP Resources Inc (QEP) is a great option for investors looking for a midcap E&P stock. QEP Resources is a 50/50 gas/oil producer that was formerly a part of Questar Corporation (STR). “In the last few years, since spinning out of Questar, they have repositioned the company adding Bakken and Permian positions, plus divesting Mid-Continent and midstream assets,” Coleman says. “The sale of its midstream business netted the company $2.5 billion in cash, cash that came in the door December 2, 2014.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INTERVIEW CLICK HERE. Coleman says the question investors have about most E&Ps right now is how much debt they are carrying on their balance sheets...
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Questar Corporation (STR) Targeting $50 Million a Year in Acquisitions

February 09, 2015

Questar Corporation (STR) CEO Ronald Jibson says the company is has a goal to acquire about $50 million a year in acquisitions of new production assets. He says the “lowest-hanging” fruit is in acquiring additional interest in wells where the company currently operates, specifically its lowest-cost producing areas in the Vermillion Basin. “So over the last two years now, we’ve been able to acquire a little more than the $50 million a year, but we’ve also indicated that that will be a little bit lumpy depending on the assets, and so we’ve acquired $150 million worth of production assets in the Vermillion Basin,” Jibson says...
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