Brien Lundin: To Insure Yourself Against Financial Upheaval, Buy Gold and Silver Now

Source: Maurice Jackson for Streetwise Reports 05/12/2020 Brien Lundin, sector expert and publisher of the Gold Newsletter, offers his perspective on the monetary ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic in this conversation with Maurice Jackson of Proven and Probable. Maurice Jackson: Today we will discuss the 2020 financial crisis and investment opportunities for your portfolio. Joining us for a conversation is Brien Lundin, the president of Jefferson Financial. Mr. Lundin, investors are in a state of confusion and they’re looking for some sound guidance. These are truly unique times. For someone who says, “We’ve been here before, it’s going to be all right,” can you please share what are the primary differences between the global financial crisis of 2008 versus 2020? Brien Lundin: Well, two things really. The primary difference, first off, is the degree of monetary accommodation and stimulus efforts. We always predicted this would happen to a greater degree this next time around. But the second big difference has been the rapidity of the move. We expected—and I had been predicting in Gold Newsletter for a couple of years now—that the next crisis would come, they would find some excuse to demand more easing from the Federal Reserve, and the patient would demand more of the drug this time, so they would have to do more than they did before. But I expected all of this to play out over, say, five years. I did not expect it to play out over veritably five days, as it has. That’s … Continue reading

Finding Solar Opportunity in the Pandemic Downturn

Source: Streetwise Reports 05/12/2020 Small-cap UGE International boasts a $50 million project backlog and a $250 million pipeline. Difficulties facing solar industry operators have been highlighted in recent reports, including by Bloomberg and the Washington Post; among the issues cited are decreasing demand among homeowners, disruptions in supply, and capital shortages. But not all parts of the solar industry are equal, and while the industry as a whole may be facing headwinds, UGE International Ltd. (UGE:TSX.V; UGEIF:OTCQB) is thriving during the coronavirus-induced downturn. The firm, which focuses on project development in the commercial and community solar sector, announced at the end of March its largest project ever, a 6.6 MW solar installation in Westchester County, New York. The project will feed electricity into the grid and provide savings to community subscribers by selling them energy credits at a discounted rate. “The project is approximately 12-15 times the size of UGE’s average project and, when completed, will produce power for an estimated 1,000 homes for the duration of the system’s lifetime,” the company stated. The company also has the option of installing battery storage, “which would provide a further boost to project revenue and returns.” The project in Westchester may be just the tip of the iceberg for UGE. The firm currently has a committed project backlog valued at approximately $50 million, consisting of more than 40 projects, and a pipeline in excess of $250 million. The firm’s global solar experience has exceeded 400 MW. Several macro factors are working in … Continue reading

First Cobalt Delivers News of Robust Definitive Feasibility Study on 100%-Owned Cobalt Refinery

Source: Peter Epstein for Streetwise Reports 05/12/2020 Peter Epstein of Epstein Research profiles the company that has the only permitted, primary cobalt refinery in North America. Activity in the junior mining space for almost everything except gold and uranium has essentially ground to a halt. Yet, on May 4th, First Cobalt Corp. (FCC:TSX.V; FTSSF:OTCQX; FCC:ASX) announced the results of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on its 100%-owned, permitted, primary cobalt (Co) refinery in Ontario, Canada. Unlike many junior miners that are 5+ years from production, First Cobalt, with Glencore as its strategic/funding partner, expects to reach commercial production within two years. Glencore proposes lending First Cobalt most, or possibly all, the capital needed to get the refinery up to full capacity by the end of 2021. Then, the companies would split the refinery’s economics (terms yet to be announced) for up to five years, aligning with the expected debt repayment period. First Cobalt delivers robust DFS The DFS, summarized in this detailed press release, is highlighted by a 53% after-tax internal rate of return (IRR), at a long-term cobalt price of $25/lb (all figures in US$ unless stated otherwise). Even at today’s spot price of ~$16.5/lb, the IRR would be 39%. Management commissioned a comprehensive industry report from prominent consulting group, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. That report showed an average price of $26.81/lb, with several years above $30/lb, and as high as $36/lb later this decade. Cobalt prices are increasingly tied to the pace of electric vehicle (EV) adoption. Many pundits … Continue reading

ION Geophysical Shares Trade 70% Higher after Reporting 53% Rise in Q1 Sales

Source: Streetwise Reports 05/07/2020 Shares of ION Geophysical traded higher after the company reported Q1/20 financial results that included a 53% year-over-year increase in revenue. Oil and gas technology services and solutions company ION Geophysical Corp. (IO:NYSE) yesterday afternoon announced financial results for Q1/20 ending March 31, 2020. The firm reported total net revenues of $56.4 million in Q1/20, which represented a 53% increase over $37.0 million in Q1/19. The company advised that the increase was due primarily to an increase in 2D multi-client data library sales. For Q1/20, the firm additionally reported operating income of $6.3 million, compared to an operating loss of $15.9 million in Q1/19. The company further indicated that in Q1/20, it posted a net loss of $2.3 million, or ($0.16) per share, compared to a net loss of $21.4 million, or ($1.52) per share in Q1/19. The company’s President and CEO Chris Usher commented, “We achieved the best first quarter performance in six years despite challenges from both coronavirus and oil price volatility…Our strong revenues of $56 million generated positive operating income and $23 million in Adjusted EBITDA, and, as a result, we expect our liquidity position to improve as revenues are collected in the second quarter. Our first quarter results reflect the value of our offshore data library and validate the combined effectiveness of our strategic refocus and over $20 million cost reductions. Our team creatively closed a number of large multi-client contracts, some of which were delayed from the fourth quarter, even after … Continue reading

Texas Oil & Gas Firm Achieves EBITDA, EPS Beats in Q1/20

Source: Streetwise Reports 05/07/2020 A recap of Parsley Energy’s Q1/20 performance and projections for this year and next are given in a Raymond James report. In a May 5 research note, analyst John Freeman reported that Raymond James increased its target price on Parsley Energy, Inc. (PE:NYSE) after it posted its Q1/20 numbers. Raymond James’ new target price on Parsley is $12 per share, up from $11. The Texas-based energy company’s stock is trading now at about $9.38 per share. Freeman reviewed and commented on Parsley’s Q1/20 results. The company “delivered modest EBITDA and earnings per share beats relative to the Street” due to oil pricing,” Freeman pointed out. Production was relatively in line at 126,600,000 barrels of oil per day (126.6 MMbbl/d), which was 1% higher than consensus’ forecast but 1% below Raymond James’ estimate. Total production was 1% above the Street’s projection but 3% below Raymond James’ forecast. “The performance on the quarter was encouraging, however, the highlight from earnings was the significant reduction in 2020 capex (down from about $1 billion to less than $700 million),” Freeman commented. Capex, “a welcome surprise,” Freeman wrote, came in 5% and 7% lower than the investment bank and the Street’s estimates, respectively. Opex was 3% under Raymond James’ projection Moreover, Parsley’s related maintenance capital needs were greatly below expectations as well, indicating that Parsley made capital efficiency gains during the period. “We were pleasantly surprised that Parsley is able to maintain in line Q4/20 oil volumes (about 115 MMbbl/d) on … Continue reading

The Resources Report: Mega Solar Project in Puerto Rico Moving Ahead

Welcome to The Resources Report, with more coverage of emerging trends in the precious metals and energy investing space April 30, 2020 We are happy to provide our readership with a direct link to the Streetwise Reports. STREETWISE REPORTS FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2020    

Kraton Share's Rise on Positive Q1/20 Earnings Report

Source: Streetwise Reports 04/30/2020 Shares of Kraton Corp. traded 24% higher after the specialty polymers and high-value biobased products maker reported that net income in Q1/20 increased to $209.0 million, compared to $13.6 million in Q1/19. Kraton Corp. (KRA:NYSE) yesterday announced Q1/20 financial results for the period ending March 31, 2020. The company reported that Q1/20 results reflect the benefit of its geographic and end-market diversification and that the current COVID-19 situation had no material impact on the firm in the quarter. Kraton noted that its plants have continued to operate at normal capacities throughout the pandemic and its supply chain has remained intact without any interruptions in availability of raw materials. The firm stated in Q1/20, it achieved consolidated net income of $209.0 million, compared to $13.6 million in Q1/19. The company noted that the Q1/20 consolidated net income included a gain of $175.2 million from the sale of its Cariflex™ business. The company indicated that Q1/20 consolidated adjusted EBITDA was $77.9 million, which decreased by 12.9% from Q1/19. The firm outlined that operating income for its Polymer segment in Q1/20 increased to $17.9 million, up 93.8% compared to Q1/19, but that its Chemical segment operating income decreased by 60.1% to $10.3 million in the quarter. The company’s President and CEO Kevin M. Fogarty commented, “As for our overall Q1/20 results, we are very pleased to have delivered $77.9 million of Adjusted EBITDA, especially considering this to be against a backdrop of such a uniquely challenging global operating environment…During … Continue reading

Mega Solar Project in Puerto Rico Moving Ahead

Source: Streetwise Reports 04/30/2020 Greenbriar Capital has signed an agreement for the design and construction of the Caribbean’s largest solar project. The economic downturn and the coronavirus pandemic aren’t slowing down Greenbriar Capital Corp.’s (GRB:TSX.V; GEBRF:OTC) massive Montalva solar project in Puerto Rico, the largest renewable energy project in the Caribbean. The project, which according to the company has the highest solar PV contract price in the U.S., took one step closer to realization when Greenbriar announced in early April that it had signed an agreement with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) to design, build, equip and construct the project. CMEC is part of the $40 billion China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach) group of companies. This follows last August’s announcement of the signing of a $195 million financing mandate with Voya Investment Management. “The purpose of this Mandate is to structure, arrange, and provide key capital requirements for the Montalva Solar Project,” the company noted. Puerto Rico’s power generation capabilities were severely battered by hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017, and a strong earthquake in January 2020 severely damaged the Costa Sur oil-powered electric generation plant, which will not reopen. The Montalva plant will be built on Puerto Rico’s southwest coast, an area that is generally protected from hurricanes. The area features the island’s highest solar insolation and solar radiation. Montalva, which initially will be an 80 MW AC photovoltaic project, will have the capability to expand up to 165 MW AC. The property also has the advantage … Continue reading