Crude oil has been among the worst-performing commodities this year as hefty production has combined with a number of other factors to send the fossil fuel lower. That being said, a number of bellwether oil firms will be detailing their most recent quarter’s earnings this week, as investors are anxious to see how lower prices have impacted bottom-line returns. Below, we outline five of the biggest oil firms to report earnings this week, and commodity investors should watch them closely [for more oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
With the largest single day drop in gold prices dominating the headlines, many consumers have overlooked crude oil’s significant fall in prices as of late. Even without the decline earlier this week, crude has been relatively weak as of late, with few expecting this to change soon. It seems that the pressure keeping prices at bay is only expected to rise in the coming months and years as this commodity may be slowly losing its dominance [for more oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Backwardation and contango are two phenomena that define the futures industry of the commodity world. Though the terms have come handcuffed with a negative connotation, those who understand how they work should not sweat their existence. Backwardation is the process by which near month futures are more expensive than those expiring further into the future, creating a downward sloping curve for future prices over time. Contango, simply, has the opposite impact [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Big oil firms often come under fire for receiving everything from favorable tax treatment to government subsidies to conduct their business. And now it appears that another factor can be added to that list, as Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts has begun pushing for a legislation change. The laws that he seeks to amend favor drilling royalties for some of the biggest names in the industry, with over 100 companies taking advantage of the policy [for more oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As we enter the heart of earnings season, all eyes are fixated on bellwether firms and how they have fared over the most recent quarter. The coming week will be a big one for the crude oil industry, as the vast majority of leading oil producers will report in the coming five-day stretch. Crude oil has been under a microscope since experiencing downward pressure in the latter part of 2012. Since then, the commodity has rallied nearly 11%, which may have a big impact on the underlying revenues of big oil [for more oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Equity markets got off to strong start in 2013 after Congress managed to sign off on a last minute fiscal cliff deal cobbled together by Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. Euphoria quickly faded, however, with investors shifting their focus back to Washington as Congress begins new rounds of negotiations concerning the debt ceiling and several spending cut deadlines. Understandably, the rather uncertain economic environment has left many wary about the fourth quarter’s earnings season, though analysts predict that the lowered expectations found among investors leaves room for companies to post positive surprises, even if results do not meet last year’s double-digit figures.
Since the 2008 recession, U.S. oil production has come roaring back. As 2013 opened, the United States topped seven million barrels per day in production for the first time in nearly 20 years. This is largely thanks to a development in technologies like fracking as well as more pipelines distributing the energy resource around the nation. Experts now predict that the United States will top Saudi Arabia’s oil production by 2020. That would make the United States both the largest producer and consumer of this fossil fuel in the world [for more crude oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The energy sector has been anything but stable this year, as commodities as a whole suffered at the hands of volatile trading. Crude oil prices surged all across the board while popular natural gas struggled to maintain a direction. With 2012 coming to a close, we take a look back on the year and outline the best and worst performing energy ETFs. Note that this list excludes leveraged and inverse products [for more energy ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
John Fredriksen is a self-made billionaire who built his financial empire as a shipping magnate, primarily in the business of transporting oil, then continued his success in offshore oil drilling. Fredriksen is currently ranked number 75 on Forbes’ list of billionaires, and listed at 68 on Bloomberg’s list of the 200 richest people. His net worth is currently estimated at $13.3 billion as per Bloomberg’s figures. Britain’s Sunday Times lists him as the ninth richest person residing in the country, where they estimate his wealth at £6.6 billion [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].