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The High-Yield Dividend payers will continue to distribute dividends and can provide steady capital appreciation at the same time in the current low yield environment.
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
South Jersey Industries, Inc.
Otter Tail Corporation
Helmerich & Payne, Inc.
Safety Insurance Group, Inc.
Tupperware Brands Corporation
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company
While the figures quoted in Trump’s tweet appear to be unrealistic, there are now rumors of a global effort to cut production, with OPEC hosting a meeting on Monday on the topic
Crude prices notched a record weekly gain of as much as 37% on OPEC jawboning and President Donald Trump's tweets that he expected world oil producers to resume production cuts. A drop in the U.S. oil rig count, however, showed that drillers in the country had already begun work to balance a market left incredibly oversupplied by the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump tweeted on Thursday that he had brokered a deal for Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil producers to cut between 10 million and 15 million barrels of supply from daily world output.
With global infections topping 1 million and more U.S. states implementing stay-at-home orders, economists have slashed their forecasts for U.S. real GDP. Morgan Stanley now expects U.S. real GDP to plunge 38% in the second quarter. At 07:04 a.m. EDT, Dow e-minis were down 203 points, or 0.95%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 21.25 points, or 0.84% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 64.25 points, or 0.84%.
Big Oil’s stocks soared on Thursday, following the surge in oil prices after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he hoped for a large output cut from Russia and Saudi Arabia
Greif (GEF)???s divestiture of the Consumer Packaging Group unit will help deleverage balance sheet and focus on core industrial franchise and strategic growth priorities.
Can Donald Trump achieve what OPEC itself couldn’t? The U.S. president’s tweets on Thursday that he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to resume production cuts sent a market battered on demand destruction and a supply gut soaring about 25% in early New York trade. "Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia,&I expect&hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil&gas industry!" Trump said in his first of two tweets on the matter.
Olin (OLN) gains from its IT project investments, actions to improve its cost structure and the Lake City U.S. Army ammunition contract in the Winchester unit.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are a couple of ways of summarizing what’s happened with Occidental Petroleum Corp. since CEO Vicki Hollub went all-in on buying Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year. One would be that the deal trashed Oxy’s relationship with shareholders and saddled it with too much debt, leading to chronic underperformance and, when disaster struck, a massive dividend cut. An alternative take might be:Ms. Hollub enhanced the value of Occidental’s portfolio of assets through the Anadarko acquisition, which strengthened Occidental’s long-term value proposition.That second one comes from Oxy’s preliminary proxy statement, filed this week.Here’s a quick sanity check by way of a chart. See which of the two assessments most closely aligns with this set of squiggles:One detects some uneasiness on Oxy’s part. It took the trouble to lay out “realizable” pay for executives in its proxy; the idea being that the actual value of stock-based awards plummeted with Oxy’s price. Hence, while Hollub’s headline total compensation for 2019 clocks in at almost $16 million, the company calculates its value as of March 24 was a mere $4.4 million. Salaries for 2020 have been slashed (although these typically account for only 10-15% of total compensation). Plus, the proxy discloses that Oscar Brown, the head of strategy who played a leading role in the Anadarko deal, is no longer with the company.Clearly, Hollub’s pay package isn’t worth what it was a couple of months ago. On the other hand, compared with a shareholder who just had most of their dividend taken away, the CEO is still being paid to wait. After all, the board presumably expects Hollub to preside over some sort of recovery in the share price (and, thereby, connected stock-based awards).Moreover, while realizable pay may now be worth a fraction of what it was when the board met in February, the more pertinent question is why was it worth so much in February? It was clear by then, even before the corona-crash, that Oxy’s gamble had inflicted big losses on shareholders and forced it to cut spending and growth targets. Total shareholder return in 2019 was negative 28% — worse than the sector, the market and the year before. Yet Hollub’s headline compensation rose by 13%.Then there are bonuses, typically adjusted to some percentage of a target level based on company performance. Oxy’s percentage for 2019: 175%. As is usual with these things, that number derives from a Rube Goldberg-esque set of performance metrics and weightings. In this case, it was complicated further by being split between pre- and post-acquisition objectives.Astoundingly, the executives were deemed to have exceeded expectations even more on the latter bit. Defined in exceedingly narrow terms, I suppose one could have argued back in February that, judged on things like realizing synergies or whatnot, the executives were hitting their marks. But context is everything, and the context here is a debacle. So perhaps stuff like realizing synergies should have been redefined as the bare minimum rather than bonus-worthy. Again, one detects a certain uneasy recognition of the dissonance here with the majority of Hollub’s bonus being paid in restricted stock units rather than cash.Oxy isn’t alone in setting executive compensation at odds with investors’ experience (see this). The same day it filed its proxy, Whiting Petroleum Corp. filed for chapter 11. While this Bakken-basin fracker cited Covid-19 and the Saudi-Russian oil price war, it already had an underlying (and familiar) condition of rising leverage and weak or negative free cash flow. Announcing its bankruptcy, the company also disclosed bonuses for its top executives, approved just days before, worth $14.6 million. That is actually two-thirds higher than Whiting’s cash balance at the end of December.Doug Terreson, an analyst at Evercore ISI who has been beating the drum on this misalignment for years, calculates that 15 CEOs of the integrated oil and exploration and production companies he covers were paid more than $2 billion in aggregate over the past decade. In exchange, shareholders netted a total return of zero, while the S&P 500 generated a positive total return of more than 250%. “This pay for performance disconnect has not gone unnoticed by the buy-side and is part of the reason why investors avoid energy stocks. The deck is stacked against them,” he writes.Still, the sheer drama of Oxy’s past year marks it out. Consider that the same filing lauding Oxy’s “enhanced” value after swallowing Anadarko also details the company’s recent agreement with one Carl Icahn under the award-worthy euphemism of “Board Refreshment.” The dissonance is deafening.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Industrial stocks are withdrawing guidances for 2020 amid the coronavirus-induced uncertainty as they cannot reasonably estimate its impact on their financial and operational results at this time.
Driven by the ongoing trough in oil prices, Chevron (CVX), Equinor (EQNR) and Eni (E) made announcements on spending cuts.
(Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus crisis is hitting executive pay at one of America’s most iconic companies.Caterpillar Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jim Umpleby, other senior executives, management and salaried workers will not get a base-pay increase in 2020 as part of the company’s efforts to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic. They also won’t receive the payout outlined under an annual incentive plan.“These decisions are difficult and were not made lightly, but we must act with a sense of urgency to respond to this extremely challenging situation created by the pandemic,” Caterpillar spokeswoman Kate Kenny said in an email.The decision comes less than a week after the Deerfield, Illinois-based machinery producer pulled its 2020 outlook and announced the suspension of some operations, saying it doesn’t have clarity on how the pandemic will affect its business. Caterpillar earlier confirmed it laid off employees at its East Peoria building KK as part of actions taken to reduce production due to weaker customer demand.“We have faced and overcome many challenges during our 95-year history,” Umpleby said in a note to employees announcing the cuts. “Working together, I am confident we will emerge even stronger after the impact of the pandemic subsides.”Shares of the company rose 3.9% in New York after surging more than 10% last week, the biggest advance since November 2018 amid speculation that a government stimulus package would help bring stability to a market reeling from impact of the virus.While the cut to pay is noteworthy, the company hasn’t announced whether it will eliminate the dividend it pays to investors.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This is a market for Warren Buffett, and U.S. investors sure could use some of his positive vibes right now. So where is America’s biggest booster and hungriest dealmaker?Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has been noticeably quiet since an explosion in coronavirus cases sent much of the populace into self-isolation and the country hurtling toward a recession. New York City, the capital of finance, is the new epicenter of the outbreak. But even 1,200 miles west in Buffett’s more airy state of Nebraska, the number of known infected residents is approaching 200, showing just how widespread it’s become.Buffett’s age — he’ll turn 90 in August — puts him among those most at risk of severe complications from the virus. (He was also treated for early-stage prostate cancer in 2012.) It may be that he’s avoiding in-person interviews for safety reasons, as he should. Nobody wants to be the one who gave the world’s most celebrated businessman and philanthropist Covid-19 and set in motion the most momentous CEO transition of our time. Still, with so much panic and prognosticating about the damage the pandemic might inflict on the economy, investors could use Buffett’s habitual reminder of his unwavering belief in American prosperity. In 2008, amid the last recession, and again in 2010, Buffett signed off both his annual letters to shareholders saying that he and Charlie Munger — his longtime business partner and the 96-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire — were “lucky beyond our dreams” in part for being born in the U.S.Berkshire’s own investments are like a cross-section of the U.S. economy, with large stakes in airlines, banks, grocery stores and makers of consumer goods — even tech giants Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. About $70 billion of value has been erased from its stock portfolio since mid-February (though we don’t yet know what Buffett bought and sold during the first quarter). The conglomerate also has outright ownership of one of the nation’s most expansive freight railway systems and a giant utility network, as well as businesses that sell everything from furniture and modular homes, to airplane-engine parts and various types of insurance. Shares of Berkshire itself are down 18%, headed for their worst year — like many other stocks — since 2008. “If you stick around long enough you’ll see everything in markets, and it may have taken me to 89 years of age to throw this one into the experience,” a still chipper Buffett said on Yahoo Finance during his last televised interview. That was March 10, before the virus situation became so dire that states stretching from California to Massachusetts began issuing stay-at-home orders to buy time for hospitals running out of ventilators and other crucial equipment.Three days later, Buffett announced he was canceling the festivities associated with Berkshire’s annual meeting to be held in Omaha in May. No investors are allowed to attend (they’ll have to stream it online). That means no shopping for See’s Candies, no posing with Buffett cardboard cut-outs, no running in the Brooks 5K and no sightings of the man himself for the tens of thousands of fans who show up each year wondering if it’s their last chance to see him up close.Buffett really has seen it all, though, which for him diminishes the frightful nature of events that to the rest of us seem so unprecedented in their gravity. When the Black Monday crash hit in October 1987, Buffett was already 57 years old. During World War II, when the news headlines couldn’t have been worse, he bought his first shares of stock as a kid — dumping them only four months later. At the 2018 Berkshire shareholder meeting, Buffett recounted the lesson he learned from that. Here’s a condensed version:Imagine yourself back on March 11, 1942. … I’d like you to imagine that at that time you had invested $10,000 … to hold a piece of American business and never look at another stock quote. … You’d have $51 million [now] and you wouldn't have had to do anything. … All you had to do was figure that America was going to do well over time, that we would overcome the current difficulties. … It’s just remarkable to me that we have operated in this country with the greatest tailwind at our back.In some ways, this is the market he’s been waiting for — a chance to finally scoop up durable, if temporarily beaten down, businesses on the cheap and put Berkshire’s $128 billion pile of cash to work. Likewise, private equity firms will be on the prowl, too. Financial buyers, including Berkshire, are already eyeing vulnerable targets in the travel, lodging and entertainment industries, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. Here are others that fit the mold of a Berkshire takeover target, based on criteria Buffett has spelled out in the past: In recent years there were too many competing acquirers willing to pay prices Buffett thought were absurd. Now, many are looking to conserve capital; others receiving assistance from the federal stimulus package may be more limited in their financial maneuvers. So where President Donald Trump opened a window to dealmaking with this more lax antitrust regulation, the virus has shut the door. Merger-and-acquisition activity is already down 24% globally this year, while in the U.S. it’s retreated 31%. The S&P 500 index now has a price-to-earnings ratio of 17, compared with more than 22 in February.“It would be more fun if the phone would ring,” Buffett said in 2017 at the start of his M&A dry spell. It's sure to be ringing now as large corporations seek cash and the glow of the Buffett halo. Banks are quietly discouraging investment-grade borrowers from tapping their existing credit lines, according to a Bloomberg News report Monday. Berkshire played the role of a bank last year, providing $10 billion of financing to Occidental Petroleum Corp. in return for high-yielding preferred stock. As my colleague Liam Denning has noted, even though the oil crash recently forced Oxy to slash its regular dividend, Berkshire still receives its fat check.Though it may be no mystery how Buffett views America’s ability to get through this latest crisis, it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll deploy his billions in it. Whatever the case, he should do his elephant hunting from home. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.