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Posted by Tedra DeSue July 26, 2015
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Want To Get In On Apple? Consider Its Suppliers as Investments


Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is still trying to recover from the negative reaction to its third quarter earnings report last week. While the reasons investors were unhappy varied, the main reason related to the recently unveiled iPhone 6. Worried that Apple may have reached its pinnacle in selling the high-end smartphone, investors sent the stock lower.

The leaner than anticipated iPhone 6 sales caused angst among investors, but how are Apple suppliers for the iPhone 6 faring? They include: Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS),  NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI), and ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) chip design.

Apple Disappoints

Before getting into the details about how Apple’s suppliers were affected by its stock decline, let’s take a look at how the tech giant fared during its third quarter, ending June 27.

Company officials chalked up the quarter as having record sales of the iPhone and Mac, all-time record revenue from services and the successful launch of Apple Watch.

According to Apple’s earnings press release, the company posted quarterly revenue of $49.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.4 billion and net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.7% compared to 39.4 % in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, had the following to say about the quarter in the earnings press release.

“In the third quarter our year-over-year growth rate accelerated from the first half of fiscal 2015, with revenue up 33% and earnings per share up 45%,” said “We generated very strong operating cash flow of $15 billion, and we returned over $13 billion to shareholders through our capital return program.”

When the market opened for trading last Tuesday, Apple was trading around $131 a share. After it reported the Q3 earnings for the period ending on June 27, the stock dipped as low as $119.20. It closed at $120.33, effectively wiping out about $60 billion of its estimated $753 billion market cap.

Although smartphone sales are typically lower during the spring and summer months as consumers wait until the holidays to make purchases, partly due to holiday deals, the lower sales for Apple’s last quarter was different.

 

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The Wall Street Journal noted that the decline in iPhone sales dip to 47.5 million amounted to a drop of about 23% from Apple’s fiscal second quarter of 2015. Furthermore, that was a steeper rate of decline than the previous two years when quarter-on-quarter sales fell by 19% and 17% respectively, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Apple also briefly fell below its 200-day moving average Tuesday and Apple hasn’t closed below this metric since Sept. 17, 2013, according to news reports. At its lowest point around $120, Apple had lost $62 billion off its market cap, which had soared to $753 billion, making it the most valuable company the world.

What Apple’s Slump Means For Suppliers

Now that we’ve gone over Apple’s numbers for the last quarter, let’s look at the suppliers, specifically those whose parts power the iPhone 6.

There are two main we see you as getting in on Apple as investment.

If you are considering investing in Apple, there are viable options. First, buy now while it is trading lower because the stock tends to rebound nicely. It’s trading now around $125 a share, which is about $10 share of its 52-week high. Just keep in mind that the Q3 results may very well be a sign that the smartphone market is saturated and the good old days of record sales of the devices may be waning.

Another way to ride the coattails of Apple may be through its suppliers. The following is a list of some of the suppliers whose parts are in the iPhone 6.

Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) had a good third quarter in terms of earnings. It supplied the chip for the iPhone 6’s 5.5 inch screen models. After beating the street’s estimates several analysts increased their price targets on the company. It closed Friday around $99.

Pacific Crest Securities raised the price target to $120 from $110. The analyst for the firm is banking on the increasing content on iPhone 6S and improving Chinese demand as reasons.

Skyworks reported earnings being up 61%, and revenue rose 38% to $810 million. Analysts had expected $1.29 and $801.5 million.

Then there is NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ: NXPI). Apple uses its near-field communications technology in its mobile pay service. Following Apple’s earnings release last week, NXP’s stock fell 2.38% to $90.20.

The company produces several components for the iPhone, including a part required for the Apple’s new mobile Pay feature. Providing iPhone users a pay system is slowly catching on. Over the long term it’s likely that NXP could significantly benefit from supplying Apple with the parts for this feature.

Keep an out on the stock this week; it reports its Q2 earnings on July 29.

ARM Holdings licenses (NASDAQ: ARMH) its chip technology to several smartphone manufacturers, including Apple. ARM Holdings receives royalties from Apple and other smartphone manufacturers that pay royalties. While it performed

It reported earnings for its second quarter last week. While it missed analysts’ estimates, it did meet profit projections. Specifically, its revenue in the three months ended in June was up 15%, year over year, totaling about $357 million. Estimates were $359 million.

Its earnings per share were $.34, which met analysts’ estimates.

Do consider ARM Holdings for many reasons. One of them is the royalty revenue it receives when products using its licenses are sold. According to an interview ARM Holdings’ CEO gave to Bloomberg. Its chips are in 95% of the world’s smartphones.

He noted that the company is experiencing “very strong” growth in royalty revenue.



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Bootstrapping


Trading as a business may be difficult to start if you have little money. In the past, I tried to raise cash for my trading business, but this endeavor is something nobody will ever believe you or trust you with. It looks like times when people like Warren Buffett collected money from his friends, invested them and made them rich are gone.

I do not have such friends and public will not trust you at all.

How much money do you need for a stock market trading business?

How much money would you need to start your trading business? It depends. If you want to live off of your investments you would need at least $150,000 to start with. This amount is of course needed for trading options. If you want to invest in dividend stocks instead and live off of the dividends, you would need a lot more than that.

Let’s say you build a portfolio of dividend stocks which delivers you 4% annually and you want $50,000 a year income, you will need at least $1,250,000 to get there. This is a life time effort and if you want to go this direction, you need to start early and be very aggressive in saving.

If you are like me who started late, you need to adopt other strategies which will help you to get there. I believe, options are such strategy. My options trading strategy I recently adopted is set to deliver 7% weekly gain. That’s 28% a month! Or 336% a year. But let’s say not all trades will be profitable and I will only make 60% a year. How much money would I need to live off of my trading?

If I only want $50,000 a year, it would be $83,300 account value to make $50,000. Of course, you need more to make money for taxes, fees and some reserves to grow the account. Thus $150,000 is ideal amount to start trading for a living. There is one more benefit to that amount. You can apply for portfolio margin (a lot less margin requirements) and get better deal on commissions too.

Of course, if you can get more than $150k, good for you.

Raising money for trading is difficult

Now, that we know how much money is the best to start with, the question is where do we get that money if we do not possess them in the first place. Getting money for trading business or investing is extremely difficult. Nobody will trust you and nobody will fund you.

Even if you try to start a hedge fund and take all required exams and licensing, you will not be able to raise cash without track record competing against already existing funds. And even if you decide to compete, it will be difficult to put your couple thousands of dollars against millions of dollars in existing funds.

And if you decide to be the only owner of your business and investor at the same time, you still run into an issue of being underfunded.

In the past I tried many approaches how to raise money. I tried to ask friends, family, personal loans, business loans, angel investors, and crowdfunding. The result? Laughter. All I could do is to save and use my own money.

What is bootstrapping?

Bootstrapping is just that – raising money by an entrepreneur himself from his own resources (personal finances) without investors. If you put your own little capital to work and reinvest the profits back into the business to grow it all on your own, you are bootstrapping.

It looks like that trading business is doomed to this kind of funding style. Unless you are a genius make incredible profits immediately from day one, work in the financial industry and attract immediate attention.

I am not such person at all but rather a regular, unimportant guy who wants to accomplish his dream and had to learn trading the hard way by losing his little capital. My fate is bootstrapping.

But I wasn’t just dreaming! I was also actively searching for ways how to raise capital for trading. I found two possible ways and I plan on using them at some point.

Borrowing money against your possessions like a mortgage

When purchasing a house, you borrow a lot of money and use your house as a collateral. I wouldn’t borrow money against my house, but I would do that against any other stuff I own and I do not care that much if I lose it. Trading business can be risky and I can lose money (and it happened), so the house wouldn’t be the right possession to use a loan against it. Although, I know at least one investor from StockTwitts who admitted that he did it and took a HELOC loan against his house.

I am a bit more conservative and I wouldn’t use HELOC at the beginning phase of bootstrapping. Once the business starts generating a consistent revenue, it could be a good source of funding, but at the beginning phase it can be dangerous.

What other property can you use then? I found a good option recently which can be beneficial to you twofold – a loan against your car (car title loan). You can borrow money against your car, fund your business and help your credit score at the same time. And if you happen to fail, you lose the car and not the house.

We have two cars in our family. I do not need mine so badly as my wife, so using my car as collateral would be a viable option.

Credit card cashing

Carding or credit card cashing is typically referred to a credit card fraud. This is not what I have on mind. Recently I found an option how to cash your own credit card without the transaction being treated as cash advance.

There are a few businesses out there who provide this service for a fee. They send you an invoice, you pay that invoice with your credit card and they send you back a check with hard cash minus their fee (plus the card transaction fee).

When I was in a process of applying for a business loan the loan provider offered me this option how to cash the credit cards. I do not remember the exact name for this type of cashing the cards, but I liked the idea.

If you have your own business, which should be a completely separate entity from you, why not use this strategy directly on your own? Recently, to test the waters, my own trading company sent me a small invoice which I paid off using my own credit card.

Now I have a hard cash in my checking account and a purchase transaction in my credit account. And in the transaction list it is recorded as a purchase to ZZ Capital Management, LLC.

Of course, there will be a small fee to my card processor, but I am OK with that.

I plan using this strategy to fund my trading business, but also not right away. I will be testing it first with small amounts only but use it in full once my trading starts generating sustainable income. I need some cash flow first to be able to pay off those loans.

Of course, if I use a credit card and take out for example $4,000 and then pay it off slowly over time, there will be interest involved. My creditors charge me in average 16% annually. If I make 60% annually, I still end up 44% profit left. In that case, even a credit card loan is a good loan to me.

The long story short, two conditions must be met to use this strategy:

 

  1. have regular monthly income from the business
  2. make more in revenue than the creditor charges in interest

 

Of course, you shouldn’t do it, if you make 3% and CC charges you 23%. It would be a losing game. And costly.

What do you think about funding a business such way? Is it a good idea or crazy gambling?
 



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Greek finance minister resigns – futures rally


A Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis announced that he resigns due to “certain preferences” among some Eurogroup participants. In other words, those participants couldn’t stand him anymore.

Greece

And $SPX futures responded to the news with a rally (which of course will be a short lived, most likely):

SPX futures

I only have a few words for this: What a joke!
 



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Posted by Martin July 05, 2015
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Greeks vote NO and send futures to abyss


Here we go again. Now I can say I thought Greeks would reject the Euro-offer, but before that I didn’t dare to say it. What if they chose the opposite, right?

I must say that this vote contains so much stupidity in it that it stunned me a lot. If we take off all the gravy around all we see is the following:

 

 

 

  • European creditors lent tons of money to Greeks in exchange for Greeks to change the way they spend it (such as reducing pensions, salaries, and other expenses; and change the overall budget structure)
  • Greeks are unwilling to do that and consider the creditors’ request a blackmailing.
  • Greeks reject the creditors and their conditions for further financing.
  • Greeks are stupid then.

 

If European and international creditors stop funding whatsoever, Greece would bankrupt and follow Argentina’s path. With “Yes” vote they could follow the Cyprus path and it would hurt less. Now Greece is going into a big financial turmoil and, now mark my words, it will make Greeks even more furious about their government once they find out what’s ahead of them.

 

You may be interested in:
Euro slips, bonds rally on Greek upset By Wayne Cole at Reuters via Yahoo Finance
 
What Greece means to the US By Sam Ro at Business Insider via Yahoo Finance

 

And what about the rest of us? The taxpayers who are indirectly pouring money into the Greek economy and being blackmailed by the Greek socialist government? Should we be worried?

The Greek economy contributes into entire Eurozone by 2%. It is miniscule and it will have no or little impact to the European and even smaller impact to the global economy.

Yet Wall Street is freaking out again:

SPX futures

Next week will be interesting again. Will the market recover this or are we going to have more surprises?
 
 



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June 2015 trading, investing, and dividends results


Another month is over and I am back to make a reflection of my trading and investing.

Many times when I think everything is great and bright I get a snap from Mr. Market. He always reminds me that trading or investing is not easy way up. And it is not always a way up.

When trading there are times when your account will be swinging to both sides. At the beginning of the month I had a great time and now at the end of the month my accounts are down due to recent sell offs.

 

You may be interested in:
Ben Bernanke thinks stocks might be cheap By Myles Udland with Business Insider
 
The Case for Wider Option Spreads By Andrew Falde with MoneyShow
 
15 Problems With Real World Portfolios By Ben Carlson with A Wealth of Common Sense

 

No matter how frustrating it is, these sell offs and drawdowns must be viewed positively. This is a temporary drop of value of my accounts. The quality of stocks or trading positions haven’t changed a bit. Sell offs like the last few days we saw are a great opportunity and money maker.

If you know what you are doing, if you understand how you are making money, where your risk is, and how to manage that risk, you shouldn’t worry.

If you have no clue and you are trembling with any stock or market move, you shouldn’t be investing or trading.
 
 

June 2015 trading results

Before the market crashed thanks to the Greece mess a few days ago my trading account was nicely up. My Net-Liq was booming. Then Greece came out and my Net-liq tanked.

Should I be worried and freaking?
 

SPX
The chart shows premarket sell off at the end of the last month when Greece announced a referendum and no deal with creditors. This large drop had a significant impact on all accounts. Investors shed 300 billion of dollars that day. A typical overreaction from which we are still recovering.
 

Of course not!

Although my net-liq sank to abyss, all my trades (except a few old ones) are safe and still positioned to make money. Thanks to increased volatility they are temporarily losing money, but all options are safely OTM.

 

You may be interested in:
Sold GE, NVDA, MO, PAYX, DFS, KKR, Covered Calls By Bill with Stocks & Options
 
End of the Month Summary – June 2015 By Alex Fotopoulos with My Trader’s Journal

 

It is because I changed my strategy four weeks ago. And that strategy now works like a charm. All trades I opened under that strategy are in great shape even after such sell off. And I am happy for it.

To provide you with a perspective, look at the chart below. It shows all my trades against SPX I opened under my new strategy. The circle shows the recent drop of the market because of Greece. As you can see, no trade is jeopardized at all by the recent market behavior.

 
SPX
The large red candle in the white circle shows the drop of prices due to Greece deal-no-deal events. the yellow price lines indicate my open call spreads and put spreads. No matter how dramatic the sell-off was, none of those trades are in danger. My Net-Liq however dropped because of volatility which spiked up during those days.
 
 

Below are my trading results. Although they look scary, they actually are not that bad. This month I made money, my account’s cash rose a bit, only net-liq dropped. Unless I decide to close all positions on Monday, I do not have to worry about Net-Liq at all:

 

June 2015 options trading income: $206.24 (1.76%)
2015 portfolio Net-Liq: $9,243.73 (-15.79%)
2015 portfolio Cash Value: $12,944.83 (N/A)
2015 overall trading account result: -21.04%

 

The results above do not reflect the effect of the new strategy. The results of the new strategy will be visible later in August – September 2015.

I expect my new strategy to make around $400 a month (since my account is still small) and grow that income every month. The new strategy would require at least $5,000 to start with. I recommend $10,000 for great results. You can follow my trades by subscribing to my newsletter, which is free. I post all trades at the same time I place them.

If you do not have an account you can open one with Tradestation and get up to $500 – trade commission free for 90 days. Then you can follow all my trades to generate income. in your account.

You can also paper trade those trade ideas before you commit your own money. And if you like the results paper trading, why not to tray with real cash, right?
 
 

June 2015 dividend investing results

The value of my dividend account also dropped significantly this months thanks to a sell off. But again, as with the account above, the income is what matters here and not value. As Dennis McCain wrote on his blog, when values of stocks drop, DGI investor is smiling. When stocks are falling, we can buy more shares and get better yield on cost.

This month I didn’t purchase any new stocks. I had a few stock spinoffs though.

My Lorillard (LO) stock was replaced by shares in Reynolds American (RAI) and at the beginning of the month my PPL stocks were spun off and I received shares in Talen Energy (TLN).

Lorillard was a good stock and it paid me great dividends over time. Reynolds however followed the suit and I already received great dividends too. Talen Energy is not a dividend growth stock and it probably never be one. Yet I decided to keep the stock as a growth stock in my portfolio as I like an idea keeping all spinoffs or splits (it wasn’t always like that).

I also decided to apply my option strategy in my ROTH IRA account to build it faster. I can see more and more that with options my income is larger per dollar invested than what I receive with dividends. However, dividends are passive and do not require a daily attention. So I dedicated some free dollars in my ROTH account to employ in options trading and I will invest all proceeds into dividend stocks.

 

You may be interested in:
My Dividend Portfolio: Q2 2015 By Integrator with Get Financially Integrated!
 
June Dividend Update By Captain Dividend
 
June 2015 Net Worth Update By FI Fighter
 
Freedom Fund Update – July 2015 By Jason Fieber with Dividend Mantra

 

I have to do it this way, since our family budget doesn’t allow me to contribute to my retirement account regularly and reinvesting dividends and income from options is the only chance for me how to boost savings.

The only thing I need to figure out is how to trade options so the trade is secure, safe, and money making machine and not a losing machine. I think, my new strategy is the right one which will make money consistently.

 

June 2015 dividend stock buys: none
June 2015 dividend stock sells: none
June 2015 spinoffs: Lorillard > Reynolds American
PPL > Talen Energy

 

For the reasons above I decided to abandon my commission free savings strategy into non-transaction cost ETF RWX. I sold all shares of RWX and use the freed cash for options trading.

I reviewed the results of RWX and it paid a few dollars in dividends. To my surprise I received a bit over $4 in 2015 from RWX and it is not worth it. My options strategy and structure I am building in my ROTH IRA account has a potential to make me $50 weekly in average. Why saving money in RWX?

 

June 2015 dividend income: $118.72
June 2015 options income: $0.00
2015 portfolio value: $17,235.13 (-7.14%)
2015 overall dividend account result: -1.23%

 

ROTH Dividend Income
My ROTH IRA dividend income breakdown per month and per company.
 
 

All accounts

Besides trading and dividend accounts I also have 401k account, emergency savings account, etc., which I do not report in detail. You can review those accounts in my “All Accounts Value” table at the bottom of My Trades & Income page.

My accounts dropped from previous month, but are still up 4.14% for the year. Considering how bad the market was this month I think, this is not a bad result.

What do you think?

How about your investing or trading result?
 
 

What is my market expectation for July 2015?

I do not have any detailed expectations for this market. Greece will play a role in this mess. It is definitely interesting seeing that Greece defaulted to pay back $1.7 billion but our stock market lost $300 billion that day. This says a lot about the market and what freaks are running it these days.

Unlike those freaks who are panicking, you should not. I constantly train my brain to focus on income and safety of my investments and not value of those investments and temporary fluctuations. It is difficult to do. I have seen my co-worker sitting by the monitor every day watching every move of the market and freaking out any time it went down or against his positions. Immediately he considered those trades “a misery, tragedy, or disaster”. At the end he closed all his positions at a loss because he couldn’t stomach the fluctuations, he wasn’t willing to give his investments time needed. But most importantly, he was negative about those investments (trading) and had unrealistic expectations.

It is hard to learn the opposite. It cost time and money.

What is my expectation for July? I think the market will go down in the first half of this month but later on we will see a rally and we may see new all-time highs by the end of the month. I do not expect any significant new highs, just slightly above what we saw last month.

What do you think? What is your expectation for July?

Do you think Greece will leave Eurozone and that would spark more sell offs?

Is the Grexit good or bad for global economy?

Are you afraid of any potential sell off or are you awaiting it with excitement and why?

Share your idea with us and let us know what you think about this market, your investments or trades or just comment or post your questions!
 
 



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Posted by Martin June 28, 2015
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Should you short SPX on Monday upon a GREXIT?


I wouldn’t be so fast jumping the gun and short this market. Futures reacted very negatively on the Greek referendum announced by an irresponsible socialist government. Not only Greeks cannot afford the referendum, the whole EU cannot afford losses from Greeks.

Although Greece is posting a nice drama (or tragic comedy actually) I believe all selling actually already happened. All action has been already done. Jumping in now is too late.

Here is how futures responded right after opening:

SPX

Jumping in now and shorting this market maybe too late. Maybe not, we may see more irrationality coming in and more investors selling like crazy when markets open tomorrow morning.

But I do not expect it.

 

 

If the markets open at the current level which is 2075, then it will be a huge gap down and it will open right at the 1 standard deviation level. Statistically we will be too oversold, too low, and bound for recovery.

See the chart below:

SPX

If you put the chart into a perspective, it would open where the red dot is shown. If so, that lays directly at the 1 standard deviation line (the magenta colored line). Can we go any further down? Although everything is possible, I don’t think there is much room for further downside.

Yes we can go lower to 2 SD, but that would be very unlikely. I do not think Greece poses such a threat to global markets. Although in today’s market driven by algos and freaks everything is possible.

I would incline to a price recovery rather than to more selling. The market will try to close the gap and run away from the 1 SD level.

That doesn’t mean that if the market rallies from the low open price we will be saved, respectively the trend will be saved! We may just see a new lower high forming and then more decline. Or we may see a huge V shape recovery and new highs. Everything is possible with this crazy market.

Stay cool and do not panic. It’s not worth it.
 
 



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How to defend Call Credit Spreads explained by the best trader


 
 

How to defend a credit call spread? Tom Sosnoff and his daughter Case explains how to defend a call spread which goes against you.

Interesting explanation of what should a trader do if a credit spread goes against you. With Tom’s view, everything I have ever done to defend my spreads was wrong.

Here is an example of what a trader can do (excerpt from the video above):
 

We have a stock XYZ is trading for $50.

We sell 55/57.5 call spread (55 strike being the short) with 45 days to expiration (DTE) and collected 0.80 (or $80) premium. Here are a few scenarios what you should do:
 

XYZ is now trading for $52.5 with 29 DTEleave it

XYZ is now trading for $55.0 with 29 DTEleave it

XYZ is now trading for $56.0 with 29 DTEleave it

XYZ is now trading for $57.5 with 29 DTEleave it

XYZ is now trading for $59.5 with 29 DTEleave it
 

And now, here is a different situation:
 

XYZ is now trading for $55.0 with 7 DTEroll it into the next month

XYZ is now trading for $56.0 with 7 DTEroll it into the next month

XYZ is now trading for $57.5 with 7 DTEroll it into the next month

XYZ is now trading for $60.0 with 7 DTEleave it and hope for a miracle that the trade may return back before expiration, and if not, take the full loss.
 
 



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Yellen Almost Admits Fed Not Ready to Raise Rates


 

Peter Schiff’s report on Yellen’s talk about interest rates. Interesting video basically explaining why FED will not increase the rates and that all the talk is just a pretend of rates hike to make it look like FED wants to do it. If the recovery was really so good to justify the rates hike, they would already do it. Keeping rates this low basically says that even FED doesn’t believe to this phony recovery.
 



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Posted by Martin June 16, 2015
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Are the markets turning?


A few years ago, when I was training trading options, the trader from whom I was learning pointed out that the markets were turning down. Slowly reversing. And I remember I made quite nice money under his leadership.

The chart looked like this:

SPX turning

It was 2011 and the market corrected 16% those days (from July to August).
 



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Posted by Martin June 15, 2015
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4 Best-Positioned Upstream MLPs: MEMP, VNR, LRE, and LGCY.


Wunderlich Securities analyst Jay Dobson has a pretty glum assessment of upstream master limited partnerships (MLPS). These are exploration and production companies that have been hammered by energy price declines.

Dobson writes in a June 15 industry report:

The sector has too much debt on average and has suffered from the dramatic decline in oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids prices since late 2014. Further, a lack of hedging discipline has left the industry more exposed to the declining prices and, in some cases, with very limited financial flexibility.

That said, there are a few he recommends as he takes over coverage of the sector. He believes these are the MLPs that are in the best positions for the current energy environment:
 

  • Memorial Production Partners (MEMP),
  • Vanguard Natural Resources (VNR)
  • LRR Energy (LRE). Its merger with VNR is still pending and its trading at a 6% discount, so it’s is another way to play Buy-rated VNR, says Dobson.
  • Legacy Reserves (LGCY). He notes this one is more risky.

Continue reading >>>
 



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