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Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL)


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In light of the recent fall in oil prices due to the Saudi-Russian dispute and dampening demand for oil due to the lockdowns implemented globally, O&G stocks have taken a severe beating, falling approximately 50% from their highs at the beginning of the year. Not spared from this onslaught is Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus), a listed oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production (E&P) company.
Why invest in O&G stocks in this particularly uncertain period? For one, valuations of these stocks have fallen to multi-year lows, bringing the potential ROI on these stocks to attractive levels. Oil prices are cyclical, and are bound to return to the mean given a sufficiently long time horizon. The trick is to find those companies who can survive through this downturn and emerge into “normal” profitability once oil prices rebound.
In this article, I will explore the upsides and downsides of investing in Hibiscus. I will do my best to cater this report to newcomers to the O&G industry – rather than address exclusively experts and veterans of the O&G sector. As an equity analyst, I aim to provide a view on the company primarily, and will generally refrain from providing macro views on oil or opinions about secular trends of the sector. I hope you enjoy reading it!
Stock code: 5199.KL
Stock name: Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad
Financial information and financial reports: https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Corporate-Infomation.aspx?securityCode=5199
Company website: https://www.hibiscuspetroleum.com/

Company Snapshot

Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL) is an oil and gas (O&G) upstream exploration and production (E&P) company located in Malaysia. As an E&P company, their business can be basically described as:
· looking for oil,
· drawing it out of the ground, and
· selling it on global oil markets.
This means Hibiscus’s profits are particularly exposed to fluctuating oil prices. With oil prices falling to sub-$30 from about $60 at the beginning of the year, Hibiscus’s stock price has also fallen by about 50% YTD – from around RM 1.00 to RM 0.45 (as of 5 April 2020).
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While the company is domiciled in Malaysia, its two main oil producing fields are located in both Malaysia and the UK. The Malaysian oil field is commonly referred to as the North Sabah field, while the UK oil field is commonly referred to as the Anasuria oil field. Hibiscus has licenses to other oil fields in different parts of the world, notably the Marigold/Sunflower oil fields in the UK and the VIC cluster in Australia, but its revenues and profits mainly stem from the former two oil producing fields.
Given that it’s a small player and has only two primary producing oil fields, it’s not surprising that Hibiscus sells its oil to a concentrated pool of customers, with 2 of them representing 80% of its revenues (i.e. Petronas and BP). Fortunately, both these customers are oil supermajors, and are unlikely to default on their obligations despite low oil prices.
At RM 0.45 per share, the market capitalization is RM 714.7m and it has a trailing PE ratio of about 5x. It doesn’t carry any debt, and it hasn’t paid a dividend in its listing history. The MD, Mr. Kenneth Gerard Pereira, owns about 10% of the company’s outstanding shares.

Reserves (Total recoverable oil) & Production (bbl/day)

To begin analyzing the company, it’s necessary to understand a little of the industry jargon. We’ll start with Reserves and Production.
In general, there are three types of categories for a company’s recoverable oil volumes – Reserves, Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources. Reserves are those oil fields which are “commercial”, which is defined as below:
As defined by the SPE PRMS, Reserves are “… quantities of petroleum anticipated to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations from a given date forward under defined conditions.” Therefore, Reserves must be discovered (by drilling, recoverable (with current technology), remaining in the subsurface (at the effective date of the evaluation) and “commercial” based on the development project proposed.)
Note that Reserves are associated with development projects. To be considered as “commercial”, there must be a firm intention to proceed with the project in a reasonable time frame (typically 5 years, and such intention must be based upon all of the following criteria:)
- A reasonable assessment of the future economics of the development project meeting defined investment and operating criteria; - A reasonable expectation that there will be a market for all or at least the expected sales quantities of production required to justify development; - Evidence that the necessary production and transportation facilities are available or can be made available; and - Evidence that legal, contractual, environmental and other social and economic concerns will allow for the actual implementation of the recovery project being evaluated.
Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources are further defined as below:
- Contingent Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets discovered volumes but is not (yet commercial (as defined above); and) - Prospective Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets as yet undiscovered volumes.
In the industry lingo, we generally refer to Reserves as ‘P’ and Contingent Resources as ‘C’. These ‘P’ and ‘C’ resources can be further categorized into 1P/2P/3P resources and 1C/2C/3C resources, each referring to a low/medium/high estimate of the company’s potential recoverable oil volumes:
- Low/1C/1P estimate: there should be reasonable certainty that volumes actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate; - Best/2C/2P estimate: there should be an equal likelihood of the actual volumes of petroleum being larger or smaller than the estimate; and - High/3C/3P estimate: there is a low probability that the estimate will be exceeded.
Hence in the E&P industry, it is easy to see why most investors and analysts refer to the 2P estimate as the best estimate for a company’s actual recoverable oil volumes. This is because 2P reserves (‘2P’ referring to ‘Proved and Probable’) are a middle estimate of the recoverable oil volumes legally recognized as “commercial”.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from including 2C resources (riskier) or utilizing 1P resources (conservative) as your estimate for total recoverable oil volumes, depending on your risk appetite. In this instance, the company has provided a snapshot of its 2P and 2C resources in its analyst presentation:
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Basically, what the company is saying here is that by 2021, it will have classified as 2P reserves at least 23.7 million bbl from its Anasuria field and 20.5 million bbl from its North Sabah field – for total 2P reserves of 44.2 million bbl (we are ignoring the Australian VIC cluster as it is only estimated to reach first oil by 2022).
Furthermore, the company is stating that they have discovered (but not yet legally classified as “commercial”) a further 71 million bbl of oil from both the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, as well as the Marigold/Sunflower fields. If we include these 2C resources, the total potential recoverable oil volumes could exceed 100 million bbl.
In this report, we shall explore all valuation scenarios giving consideration to both 2P and 2C resources.
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The company further targets a 2021 production rate of 20,000 bbl (LTM: 8,000 bbl), which includes 5,000 bbl from its Anasuria field (LTM: 2,500 bbl) and 7,000 bbl from its North Sabah field (LTM: 5,300 bbl).
This is a substantial increase in forecasted production from both existing and prospective oil fields. If it materializes, annual production rate could be as high as 7,300 mmbbl, and 2021 revenues (given FY20 USD/bbl of $60) could exceed RM 1.5 billion (FY20: RM 988 million).
However, this targeted forecast is quite a stretch from current production levels. Nevertheless, we shall consider all provided information in estimating a valuation for Hibiscus.
To understand Hibiscus’s oil production capacity and forecast its revenues and profits, we need to have a better appreciation of the performance of its two main cash-generating assets – the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field.

North Sabah oil field
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Hibiscus owns a 50% interest in the North Sabah field together with its partner Petronas, and has production rights over the field up to year 2040. The asset contains 4 oil fields, namely the St Joseph field, South Furious field, SF 30 field and Barton field.
For the sake of brevity, we shall not delve deep into the operational aspects of the fields or the contractual nature of its production sharing contract (PSC). We’ll just focus on the factors which relate to its financial performance. These are:
· Average uptime
· Total oil sold
· Average realized oil price
· Average OPEX per bbl
With regards to average uptime, we can see that the company maintains relative high facility availability, exceeding 90% uptime in all quarters of the LTM with exception of Jul-Sep 2019. The dip in average uptime was due to production enhancement projects and maintenance activities undertaken to improve the production capacity of the St Joseph and SF30 oil fields.
Hence, we can conclude that management has a good handle on operational performance. It also implies that there is little room for further improvement in production resulting from increased uptime.
As North Sabah is under a production sharing contract (PSC), there is a distinction between gross oil production and net oil production. The former relates to total oil drawn out of the ground, whereas the latter refers to Hibiscus’s share of oil production after taxes, royalties and expenses are accounted for. In this case, we want to pay attention to net oil production, not gross.
We can arrive at Hibiscus’s total oil sold for the last twelve months (LTM) by adding up the total oil sold for each of the last 4 quarters. Summing up the figures yields total oil sold for the LTM of approximately 2,075,305 bbl.
Then, we can arrive at an average realized oil price over the LTM by averaging the average realized oil price for the last 4 quarters, giving us an average realized oil price over the LTM of USD 68.57/bbl. We can do the same for average OPEX per bbl, giving us an average OPEX per bbl over the LTM of USD 13.23/bbl.
Thus, we can sum up the above financial performance of the North Sabah field with the following figures:
· Total oil sold: 2,075,305 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 68.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 13.23/bbl

Anasuria oil field
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Doing the same exercise as above for the Anasuria field, we arrive at the following financial performance for the Anasuria field:
· Total oil sold: 1,073,304 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 63.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 23.22/bbl
As gas production is relatively immaterial, and to be conservative, we shall only consider the crude oil production from the Anasuria field in forecasting revenues.

Valuation (Method 1)

Putting the figures from both oil fields together, we get the following data:
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Given that we have determined LTM EBITDA of RM 632m, the next step would be to subtract ITDA (interest, tax, depreciation & amortization) from it to obtain estimated LTM Net Profit. Using FY2020’s ITDA of approximately RM 318m as a guideline, we arrive at an estimated LTM Net Profit of RM 314m (FY20: 230m). Given the current market capitalization of RM 714.7m, this implies a trailing LTM PE of 2.3x.
Performing a sensitivity analysis given different oil prices, we arrive at the following net profit table for the company under different oil price scenarios, assuming oil production rate and ITDA remain constant:
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From the above exercise, it becomes apparent that Hibiscus has a breakeven oil price of about USD 41.8863/bbl, and has a lot of operating leverage given the exponential rate of increase in its Net Profit with each consequent increase in oil prices.
Considering that the oil production rate (EBITDA) is likely to increase faster than ITDA’s proportion to revenues (fixed costs), at an implied PE of 4.33x, it seems likely that an investment in Hibiscus will be profitable over the next 10 years (with the assumption that oil prices will revert to the mean in the long-term).

Valuation (Method 2)

Of course, there are a lot of assumptions behind the above method of valuation. Hence, it would be prudent to perform multiple methods of valuation and compare the figures to one another.
As opposed to the profit/loss assessment in Valuation (Method 1), another way of performing a valuation would be to estimate its balance sheet value, i.e. total revenues from 2P Reserves, and assign a reasonable margin to it.
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From the above, we understand that Hibiscus’s 2P reserves from the North Sabah and Anasuria fields alone are approximately 44.2 mmbbl (we ignore contribution from Australia’s VIC cluster as it hasn’t been developed yet).
Doing a similar sensitivity analysis of different oil prices as above, we arrive at the following estimated total revenues and accumulated net profit:
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Let’s assume that the above average of RM 9.68 billion in total realizable revenues from current 2P reserves holds true. If we assign a conservative Net Profit margin of 15% (FY20: 23%; past 5 years average: 16%), we arrive at estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion. Given the current market capitalization of RM 714 million, we might be able to say that the equity is worth about twice the current share price.
However, it is understandable that some readers might feel that the figures used in the above estimate (e.g. net profit margin of 15%) were randomly plucked from the sky. So how do we reconcile them with figures from the financial statements? Fortunately, there appears to be a way to do just that.
Intangible Assets
I refer you to a figure in the financial statements which provides a shortcut to the valuation of 2P Reserves. This is the carrying value of Intangible Assets on the Balance Sheet.
As of 2QFY21, that amount was RM 1,468,860,000 (i.e. RM 1.468 billion).
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Quite coincidentally, one might observe that this figure is dangerously close to the estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion we calculated earlier. But why would this amount matter at all?
To answer that, I refer you to the notes of the Annual Report FY20 (AR20). On page 148 of the AR20, we find the following two paragraphs:
E&E assets comprise of rights and concession and conventional studies. Following the acquisition of a concession right to explore a licensed area, the costs incurred such as geological and geophysical surveys, drilling, commercial appraisal costs and other directly attributable costs of exploration and appraisal including technical and administrative costs, are capitalised as conventional studies, presented as intangible assets.
E&E assets are assessed for impairment when facts and circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount. The Group will allocate E&E assets to cash generating unit (“CGU”s or groups of CGUs for the purpose of assessing such assets for impairment. Each CGU or group of units to which an E&E asset is allocated will not be larger than an operating segment as disclosed in Note 39 to the financial statements.)
Hence, we can determine that firstly, the intangible asset value represents capitalized costs of acquisition of the oil fields, including technical exploration costs and costs of acquiring the relevant licenses. Secondly, an impairment review will be carried out when “the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount”, with E&E assets being allocated to “cash generating units” (CGU) for the purposes of assessment.
On page 169 of the AR20, we find the following:
Carrying amounts of the Group’s intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO are reviewed for possible impairment annually including any indicators of impairment. For the purpose of assessing impairment, assets are grouped at the lowest level CGUs for which there is a separately identifiable cash flow available. These CGUs are based on operating areas, represented by the 2011 North Sabah EOR PSC (“North Sabah”, the Anasuria Cluster, the Marigold and Sunflower fields, the VIC/P57 exploration permit (“VIC/P57”) and the VIC/L31 production license (“VIC/L31”).)
So apparently, the CGUs that have been assigned refer to the respective oil producing fields, two of which include the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. In order to perform the impairment review, estimates of future cash flow will be made by management to assess the “recoverable amount” (as described above), subject to assumptions and an appropriate discount rate.
Hence, what we can gather up to now is that management will estimate future recoverable cash flows from a CGU (i.e. the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields), compare that to their carrying value, and perform an impairment if their future recoverable cash flows are less than their carrying value. In other words, if estimated accumulated profits from the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are less than their carrying value, an impairment is required.
So where do we find the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields? Further down on page 184 in the AR20, we see the following:
Included in rights and concession are the carrying amounts of producing field licenses in the Anasuria Cluster amounting to RM668,211,518 (2018: RM687,664,530, producing field licenses in North Sabah amounting to RM471,031,008 (2018: RM414,333,116))
Hence, we can determine that the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. But where do we find the future recoverable cash flows of the fields as estimated by management, and what are the assumptions used in that calculation?
Fortunately, we find just that on page 185:
17 INTANGIBLE ASSETS (CONTINUED)
(a Anasuria Cluster)
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for Anasuria Cluster during the current financial year. In the previous financial year, due to uncertainties in crude oil prices, the Group has assessed the recoverable amount of the intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO relating to the Anasuria Cluster. The recoverable amount is determined using the FVLCTS model based on discounted cash flows (“DCF” derived from the expected cash in/outflow pattern over the production lives.)
The key assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount for the Anasuria Cluster were as follows:
(i Discount rate of 10%;)
(ii Future cost inflation factor of 2% per annum;)
(iii Oil price forecast based on the oil price forward curve from independent parties; and,)
(iv Oil production profile based on the assessment by independent oil and gas reserve experts.)
Based on the assessments performed, the Directors concluded that the recoverable amount calculated based on the valuation model is higher than the carrying amount.
(b North Sabah)
The acquisition of the North Sabah assets was completed in the previous financial year. Details of the acquisition are as disclosed in Note 15 to the financial statements.
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for North Sabah during the current financial year.
Here, we can see that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field was estimated based on a DCF of expected future cash flows over the production life of the asset. The key assumptions used by management all seem appropriate, including a discount rate of 10% and oil price and oil production estimates based on independent assessment. From there, management concludes that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field is higher than its carrying amount (i.e. no impairment required). Likewise, for the North Sabah field.
How do we interpret this? Basically, what management is saying is that given a 10% discount rate and independent oil price and oil production estimates, the accumulated profits (i.e. recoverable amount) from both the North Sabah and the Anasuria fields exceed their carrying amounts of RM 471m and RM 668m respectively.
In other words, according to management’s own estimates, the carrying value of the Intangible Assets of RM 1.468 billion approximates the accumulated Net Profit recoverable from 2P reserves.
To conclude Valuation (Method 2), we arrive at the following:

Our estimates Management estimates
Accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves RM 1.452 billion RM 1.468 billion

Financials

By now, we have established the basic economics of Hibiscus’s business, including its revenues (i.e. oil production and oil price scenarios), costs (OPEX, ITDA), profitability (breakeven, future earnings potential) and balance sheet value (2P reserves, valuation). Moving on, we want to gain a deeper understanding of the 3 statements to anticipate any blind spots and risks. We’ll refer to the financial statements of both the FY20 annual report and the 2Q21 quarterly report in this analysis.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll only point out those line items which need extra attention, and skip over the rest. Feel free to go through the financial statements on your own to gain a better familiarity of the business.
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Income Statement
First, we’ll start with the Income Statement on page 135 of the AR20. Revenues are straightforward, as we’ve discussed above. Cost of Sales and Administrative Expenses fall under the jurisdiction of OPEX, which we’ve also seen earlier. Other Expenses are mostly made up of Depreciation & Amortization of RM 115m.
Finance Costs are where things start to get tricky. Why does a company which carries no debt have such huge amounts of finance costs? The reason can be found in Note 8, where it is revealed that the bulk of finance costs relate to the unwinding of discount of provision for decommissioning costs of RM 25m (Note 32).
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This actually refers to the expected future costs of restoring the Anasuria and North Sabah fields to their original condition once the oil reserves have been depleted. Accounting standards require the company to provide for these decommissioning costs as they are estimable and probable. The way the decommissioning costs are accounted for is the same as an amortized loan, where the initial carrying value is recognized as a liability and the discount rate applied is reversed each year as an expense on the Income Statement. However, these expenses are largely non-cash in nature and do not necessitate a cash outflow every year (FY20: RM 69m).
Unwinding of discount on non-current other payables of RM 12m relate to contractual payments to the North Sabah sellers. We will discuss it later.
Taxation is another tricky subject, and is even more significant than Finance Costs at RM 161m. In gist, Hibiscus is subject to the 38% PITA (Petroleum Income Tax Act) under Malaysian jurisdiction, and the 30% Petroleum tax + 10% Supplementary tax under UK jurisdiction. Of the RM 161m, RM 41m of it relates to deferred tax which originates from the difference between tax treatment and accounting treatment on capitalized assets (accelerated depreciation vs straight-line depreciation). Nonetheless, what you should take away from this is that the tax expense is a tangible expense and material to breakeven analysis.
Fortunately, tax is a variable expense, and should not materially impact the cash flow of Hibiscus in today’s low oil price environment.
Note: Cash outflows for Tax Paid in FY20 was RM 97m, substantially below the RM 161m tax expense.
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Balance Sheet
The balance sheet of Hibiscus is unexciting; I’ll just bring your attention to those line items which need additional scrutiny. I’ll use the figures in the latest 2Q21 quarterly report (2Q21) and refer to the notes in AR20 for clarity.
We’ve already discussed Intangible Assets in the section above, so I won’t dwell on it again.
Moving on, the company has Equipment of RM 582m, largely relating to O&G assets (e.g. the Anasuria FPSO vessel and CAPEX incurred on production enhancement projects). Restricted cash and bank balances represent contractual obligations for decommissioning costs of the Anasuria Cluster, and are inaccessible for use in operations.
Inventories are relatively low, despite Hibiscus being an E&P company, so forex fluctuations on carrying value of inventories are relatively immaterial. Trade receivables largely relate to entitlements from Petronas and BP (both oil supermajors), and are hence quite safe from impairment. Other receivables, deposits and prepayments are significant as they relate to security deposits placed with sellers of the oil fields acquired; these should be ignored for cash flow purposes.
Note: Total cash and bank balances do not include approximately RM 105 m proceeds from the North Sabah December 2019 offtake (which was received in January 2020)
Cash and bank balances of RM 90m do not include RM 105m of proceeds from offtake received in 3Q21 (Jan 2020). Hence, the actual cash and bank balances as of 2Q21 approximate RM 200m.
Liabilities are a little more interesting. First, I’ll draw your attention to the significant Deferred tax liabilities of RM 457m. These largely relate to the amortization of CAPEX (i.e. Equipment and capitalized E&E expenses), which is given an accelerated depreciation treatment for tax purposes.
The way this works is that the government gives Hibiscus a favorable tax treatment on capital expenditures incurred via an accelerated depreciation schedule, so that the taxable income is less than usual. However, this leads to the taxable depreciation being utilized quicker than accounting depreciation, hence the tax payable merely deferred to a later period – when the tax depreciation runs out but accounting depreciation remains. Given the capital intensive nature of the business, it is understandable why Deferred tax liabilities are so large.
We’ve discussed Provision for decommissioning costs under the Finance Costs section earlier. They are also quite significant at RM 266m.
Notably, the Other Payables and Accruals are a hefty RM 431m. What do they relate to? Basically, they are contractual obligations to the sellers of the oil fields which are only payable upon oil prices reaching certain thresholds. Hence, while they are current in nature, they will only become payable when oil prices recover to previous highs, and are hence not an immediate cash outflow concern given today’s low oil prices.
Cash Flow Statement
There is nothing in the cash flow statement which warrants concern.
Notably, the company generated OCF of approximately RM 500m in FY20 and RM 116m in 2Q21. It further incurred RM 330m and RM 234m of CAPEX in FY20 and 2Q21 respectively, largely owing to production enhancement projects to increase the production rate of the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, which according to management estimates are accretive to ROI.
Tax paid was RM 97m in FY20 and RM 61m in 2Q21 (tax expense: RM 161m and RM 62m respectively).

Risks

There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious risks that one should be aware of before investing in Hibiscus. We shall not consider operational risks (e.g. uptime, OPEX) as they are outside the jurisdiction of the equity analyst. Instead, we shall focus on the financial and strategic risks largely outside the control of management. The main ones are:
· Oil prices remaining subdued for long periods of time
· Fluctuation of exchange rates
· Customer concentration risk
· 2P Reserves being less than estimated
· Significant current and non-current liabilities
· Potential issuance of equity
Oil prices remaining subdued
Of topmost concern in the minds of most analysts is whether Hibiscus has the wherewithal to sustain itself through this period of low oil prices (sub-$30). A quick and dirty estimate of annual cash outflow (i.e. burn rate) assuming a $20 oil world and historical production rates is between RM 50m-70m per year, which considering the RM 200m cash balance implies about 3-4 years of sustainability before the company runs out of cash and has to rely on external assistance for financing.
Table 1: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and exchange rates
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The above table shows different EBITDA scenarios (RM ‘m) given different oil prices (left column) and USD:MYR exchange rates (top row). Currently, oil prices are $27 and USD:MYR is 1:4.36.
Given conservative assumptions of average OPEX/bbl of $20 (current: $15), we can safely say that the company will be loss-making as long as oil remains at $20 or below (red). However, we can see that once oil prices hit $25, the company can tank the lower-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 50m (orange), while at RM $27 it can sufficiently muddle through the higher-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 70m (green).
Hence, we can assume that as long as the average oil price over the next 3-4 years remains above $25, Hibiscus should come out of this fine without the need for any external financing.
Customer Concentration Risk
With regards to customer concentration risk, there is not much the analyst or investor can do except to accept the risk. Fortunately, 80% of revenues can be attributed to two oil supermajors (Petronas and BP), hence the risk of default on contractual obligations and trade receivables seems to be quite diminished.
2P Reserves being less than estimated
2P Reserves being less than estimated is another risk that one should keep in mind. Fortunately, the current market cap is merely RM 714m – at half of estimated recoverable amounts of RM 1.468 billion – so there’s a decent margin of safety. In addition, there are other mitigating factors which shall be discussed in the next section (‘Opportunities’).
Significant non-current and current liabilities
The significant non-current and current liabilities have been addressed in the previous section. It has been determined that they pose no threat to immediate cash flow due to them being long-term in nature (e.g. decommissioning costs, deferred tax, etc). Hence, for the purpose of assessing going concern, their amounts should not be a cause for concern.
Potential issuance of equity
Finally, we come to the possibility of external financing being required in this low oil price environment. While the company should last 3-4 years on existing cash reserves, there is always the risk of other black swan events materializing (e.g. coronavirus) or simply oil prices remaining muted for longer than 4 years.
Furthermore, management has hinted that they wish to acquire new oil assets at presently depressed prices to increase daily production rate to a targeted 20,000 bbl by end-2021. They have room to acquire debt, but they may also wish to issue equity for this purpose. Hence, the possibility of dilution to existing shareholders cannot be entirely ruled out.
However, given management’s historical track record of prioritizing ROI and optimal capital allocation, and in consideration of the fact that the MD owns 10% of outstanding shares, there is some assurance that any potential acquisitions will be accretive to EPS and therefore valuations.

Opportunities

As with the existence of risk, the presence of material opportunities also looms over the company. Some of them are discussed below:
· Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
· Inclusion of 2C Resources
· Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
The first and most obvious opportunity is the potential for increased production rate. We’ve seen in the last quarter (2Q21) that the North Sabah field increased its daily production rate by approximately 20% as a result of production enhancement projects (infill drilling), lowering OPEX/bbl as a result. To vastly oversimplify, infill drilling is the process of maximizing well density by drilling in the spaces between existing wells to improve oil production.
The same improvements are being undertaken at the Anasuria field via infill drilling, subsea debottlenecking, water injection and sidetracking of existing wells. Without boring you with industry jargon, this basically means future production rate is likely to improve going forward.
By how much can the oil production rate be improved by? Management estimates in their analyst presentation that enhancements in the Anasuria field will be able to yield 5,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 2,500 bbl/day).
Similarly, improvements in the North Sabah field is expected to yield 7,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 5,300 bbl/day).
This implies a total 2021 expected daily production rate from the two fields alone of 12,000 bbl/day (current: 8,000 bbl/day). That’s a 50% increase in yields which we haven’t factored into our valuation yet.
Furthermore, we haven’t considered any production from existing 2C resources (e.g. Marigold/Sunflower) or any potential acquisitions which may occur in the future. By management estimates, this can potentially increase production by another 8,000 bbl/day, bringing total production to 20,000 bbl/day.
While this seems like a stretch of the imagination, it pays to keep them in mind when forecasting future revenues and valuations.
Just to play around with the numbers, I’ve come up with a sensitivity analysis of possible annual EBITDA at different oil prices and daily oil production rates:
Table 2: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and daily oil production rates
https://preview.redd.it/jnpfhr5n9br41.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=bbe4b512bc17f576d87529651140cc74cde3d159
The left column represents different oil prices while the top row represents different daily oil production rates.
The green column represents EBITDA at current daily production rate of 8,000 bbl/day; the orange column represents EBITDA at targeted daily production rate of 12,000 bbl/day; while the purple column represents EBITDA at maximum daily production rate of 20,000 bbl/day.
Even conservatively assuming increased estimated annual ITDA of RM 500m (FY20: RM 318m), and long-term average oil prices of $50 (FY20: $60), the estimated Net Profit and P/E ratio is potentially lucrative at daily oil production rates of 12,000 bbl/day and above.
2C Resources
Since we’re on the topic of improved daily oil production rate, it bears to pay in mind the relatively enormous potential from Hibiscus’s 2C Resources. North Sabah’s 2C Resources alone exceed 30 mmbbl; while those from the yet undiagnosed Marigold/Sunflower fields also reach 30 mmbbl. Altogether, 2C Resources exceed 70 mmbbl, which dwarfs the 44 mmbbl of 2P Reserves we have considered up to this point in our valuation estimates.
To refresh your memory, 2C Resources represents oil volumes which have been discovered but are not yet classified as “commercial”. This means that there is reasonable certainty of the oil being recoverable, as opposed to simply being in the very early stages of exploration. So, to be conservative, we will imagine that only 50% of 2C Resources are eligible for reclassification to 2P reserves, i.e. 35 mmbbl of oil.
https://preview.redd.it/mto11iz7abr41.png?width=375&format=png&auto=webp&s=e9028ab0816b3d3e25067447f2c70acd3ebfc41a
This additional 35 mmbbl of oil represents an 80% increase to existing 2P reserves. Assuming the daily oil production rate increases similarly by 80%, we will arrive at 14,400 bbl/day of oil production. According to Table 2 above, this would yield an EBITDA of roughly RM 630m assuming $50 oil.
Comparing that estimated EBITDA to FY20’s actual EBITDA:
FY20 FY21 (incl. 2C) Difference
Daily oil production (bbl/day) 8,626 14,400 +66%
Average oil price (USD/bbl) $68.57 $50 -27%
Average OPEX/bbl (USD) $16.64 $20 +20%
EBITDA (RM ‘m) 632 630 -
Hence, even conservatively assuming lower oil prices and higher OPEX/bbl (which should decrease in the presence of higher oil volumes) than last year, we get approximately the same EBITDA as FY20.
For the sake of completeness, let’s assume that Hibiscus issues twice the no. of existing shares over the next 10 years, effectively diluting shareholders by 50%. Even without accounting for the possibility of the acquisition of new oil fields, at the current market capitalization of RM 714m, the prospective P/E would be about 10x. Not too shabby.
Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Hibiscus shares have recently been hit by a one-two punch from oil prices cratering from $60 to $30, as a result of both the Saudi-Russian dispute and depressed demand for oil due to coronavirus. This has massively increased supply and at the same time hugely depressed demand for oil (due to the globally coordinated lockdowns being implemented).
Given a long enough timeframe, I fully expect OPEC+ to come to an agreement and the economic effects from the coronavirus to dissipate, allowing oil prices to rebound. As we equity investors are aware, oil prices are cyclical and are bound to recover over the next 10 years.
When it does, valuations of O&G stocks (including Hibiscus’s) are likely to improve as investors overshoot expectations and begin to forecast higher oil prices into perpetuity, as they always tend to do in good times. When that time arrives, Hibiscus’s valuations are likely to become overoptimistic as all O&G stocks tend to do during oil upcycles, resulting in valuations far exceeding reasonable estimates of future earnings. If you can hold the shares up until then, it’s likely you will make much more on your investment than what we’ve been estimating.

Conclusion

Wrapping up what we’ve discussed so far, we can conclude that Hibiscus’s market capitalization of RM 714m far undershoots reasonable estimates of fair value even under conservative assumptions of recoverable oil volumes and long-term average oil prices. As a value investor, I hesitate to assign a target share price, but it’s safe to say that this stock is worth at least RM 1.00 (current: RM 0.45). Risk is relatively contained and the upside far exceeds the downside. While I have no opinion on the short-term trajectory of oil prices, I can safely recommend this stock as a long-term Buy based on fundamental research.
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Just 2 more Conspiracy Theories that turned out to be True

(i couldn't post in the previous one , word limit )

1.Big Brother or the Shadow Government

It is also called the “Deep State” by Peter Dale Scott, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
A shadow government is a "government-in-waiting" that remains in waiting with the intention of taking control of a government in response to some event. It turned out this was true on 9/11, when it was told to us by our mainstream media. For years, this was ridiculed as a silly, crazy conspiracy theory and, like the others listed here, turned out to be 100% true. It is also called the Continuity of Government.
The Continuity of Government (COG) is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations in case of nuclear war or other catastrophic event. Since the end of the cold war, the policies and procedures for the COG have been altered according to realistic threats of that time.
These include but are not limited to a possible coup or overthrow by right wing terrorist groups, a terrorist attack in general, an assassination, and so on. Believe it or not the COG has been in effect since 2001.After 9/11, it went into action.
Now here is the kicker, many of the figures in Iran Contra, the Watergate Scandal, the alleged conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, and many others listed here are indeed members of the COG. This is its own conspiracy as well.
The Secret Team:
The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World is a book written by Air Force Col. L Fletcher Prouty, published in 1973.
From 1955 to 1963 Prouty was the "Focal Point Officer" for contacts between the CIA and the Pentagon on matters relating to military support for "black operations" but he was not assigned to the CIA and was not bound by any oath of secrecy. (From the first page of the 1974 Printing)
It was one of the first tell-all books about the inner workings of the CIA and was an important influence on the Oliver Stone movie JFK. But the main thrust of the book is how the CIA started as a think tank to analyze intelligence gathered from military sources but has grown to the monster it has become. The CIA had no authority to run their own agents or to carry out covert operations but they quickly did both and much more. This book tells about things they actually did and a lot about how the operate. In Prouty's own words, from the 1997 edition of The Secret Team: This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure.
They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they have been able to operate under the canopy of an assumed, ever-present enemy called "Communism." It will be interesting to see what "enemy" develops in the years ahead. It appears that "UFO's and Aliens" are being primed to fulfill that role for the future.
To top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA, itself, has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations. "He is not the first to allege that UFOs and Aliens are going to be used as a threat against the world to globalize the planet under One government."
The Report from Iron Mountain
The Report from Iron Mountain is a book, published in 1967 (during the Johnson Administration) by Dial Press, that states that it is the report of a government panel.
According to the report, a 15-member panel, called the Special Study Group, was set up in 1963 to examine what problems would occur if the U.S. entered a state of lasting peace.
They met at an underground nuclear bunker called Iron Mountain (as well as other, worldwide locations) and worked over the next two years. Iron Mountain is where the government has stored the flight 93 evidence from 9/11.A member of the panel, one "John Doe", a professor at a college in the Midwest, decided to release the report to the public. The heavily footnoted report concluded that peace was not in the interest of a stable society, that even if lasting peace, "could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it." War was a part of the economy.
Therefore, it was necessary to conceive a state of war for a stable economy. The government, the group theorized, would not exist without war, and nation states existed in order to wage war. War also served a vital function of diverting collective aggression. They recommended that bodies be created to emulate the economic functions of war.
They also recommended "blood games" and that the government create alternative foes that would scare the people with reports of alien life-forms and out of control pollution.
Another proposal was the reinstitution of slavery.
U.S. News and World Report claimed in its November 20, 1967 issue to have confirmation of the reality of the report from an unnamed government official, who added that when President Johnson read the report, he 'hit the roof' and ordered it to be suppressed for all time.
Additionally, sources were said to have revealed that orders were sent to U.S. embassies, instructing them to emphasize that the book had no relation to U.S. Government policy.
Project Blue Beam is also a common conspiracy theory that alleges that a faked alien landing would be used as a means of scaring the public into whatever global system is suggested. Some researchers suggest the Report from Iron Mountain might be fabricated, others swear it is real.
Bill Moyers, the American journalist and public commentator, has served as White House Press Secretary in the United States President Lyndon B. Johnson Administration from 1965 to 1967. He worked as a news commentator on television for ten years. Moyers has had an extensive involvement with public television, producing documentaries and news journal programs.
He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees. He has become well known as a trenchant critic of the U.S. media. Since 1990, Moyers has been President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. He is considered by many to be a very credible outlet for the truth. He released a documentary titled, The Secret Government, which exposed the inner workings of a secret government much more vast that most people would ever imagine.
Though originally broadcast in 1987, it is even more relevant today. Interviews with respected top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives of powerful groups in the hidden shadows of our government.
Here is that documentary:
vid
For another powerful, highly revealing documentary on the manipulations of the secret government produced by BBC, click here.
The intrepid BBC team clearly shows how the War on Terror is largely a fabrication.
For those interested in very detailed information on the composition of the shadow or secret government from a less well-known source, take a look at the summary available here.

2. The Federal Reserve Bank

The fundamental promise of a central bank like the Federal Reserve is economic stability.
The theory is that manipulating the value of the currency allows financial booms to go higher, and crashes to be more mild. If growth becomes speculative and unsustainable, the central bank can make the price of money go up and force some deleveraging of risky investments - again, promising to make the crashes more mild.
The period leading up to the American revolution was characterized by increasingly authoritarian legislation from England. Acts passed in 1764 had a particularly harsh effect on the previously robust colonial economy.
The Sugar Act was in effect a tax cut on easily smuggled molasses, and a new tax on commodities that England more directly controlled trade over. The navy would be used in increased capacity to enforce trade laws and collect duties.
Perhaps even more significant than the militarization and expansion of taxes was the Currency Act passed later in the year 1764.
"The colonies suffered a constant shortage of currency with which to conduct trade. There were no gold or silver mines and currency could only be obtained through trade as regulated by Great Britain. Many of the colonies felt no alternative to printing their own paper money in the form of Bills of Credit."
The result was a true free market of currency - each bank competed, exchange rates fluctuated wildly, and merchants were hesitant to accept these notes as payment.
Of course, they didn't have 24-hour digital Forex markets, but I'll hold off opinions on the viability of unregulated currency for another time.
England's response was to seize control of the colonial money supply - forbidding banks, cities, and colony governments from printing their own. This law, passed so soon after the Sugar Act, started to really bring revolutionary tension inside the colonies to a higher level.
American bankers had learned early on that debasing a currency through inflation is a helpful way to pay off perpetual trade deficits - but Britain proved that the buyer of the currency would only take the deal for so long...
Following the (first) American Revolution, the "First Bank of the United States" was chartered to pay off collective war debts, and effectively distribute the cost of the revolution proportionately throughout all of the states. Although the bank had vocal and harsh skeptics, it only controlled about 20% of the nation's money supply.
Compared to today's central bank, it was nothing.
Thomas Jefferson argued vocally against the institution of the bank, mostly citing constitutional concerns and the limitations of government found in the 10th amendment.
There was one additional quote that hints at the deeper structural flaw of a central bank in a supposedly free capitalist economy.
"The existing banks will, without a doubt, enter into arrangements for lending their agency, and the more favorable, as there will be a competition among them for it; whereas the bill delivers us up bound to the national bank, who are free to refuse all arrangement, but on their own terms, and the public not free, on such refusal, to employ any other bank" –Thomas Jefferson.Basically, the existing banks will fight over gaining favor with the central bank - rather than improving their performance relative to a free market.
The profit margins associated with collusion would obviously outweigh the potential profits gained from legitimate business.
The Second Bank of the United States was passed five years after the first bank's charter expired. An early enemy of central banking, President James Madison, was looking for a way to stabilize the currency in 1816. This bank was also quite temporary - it would only stay in operation until 1833 when President Andrew Jackson would end federal deposits at the institution.
The charter expired in 1836 and the private corporation was bankrupt and liquidated by 1841.While the South had been the major opponent of central banking systems, the end of the Civil War allowed for (and also made necessary) the system of national banks that would dominate the next fifty years.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) says that this post-war period of a unified national currency and system of national banks "worked well." [3] Taxes on state banks were imposed to encourage people to use the national banks - but liquidity problems persisted as the money supply did not match the economic cycles.
Overall, the American economy continued to grow faster than Europe, but the period did not bring economic stability by any stretch of the imagination. Several panics and runs on the bank - and it became a fact of life under this system of competing nationalized banks. In 1873, 1893, 1901, and 1907 significant panics caused a series of bank failures.
The new system wasn't stable at all, in fact, many suspected it was wrought with fraud and manipulation.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is not shy about attributing the causes of the Panic of 1907 to financial manipulation from the existing banking establishment.
"If Knickerbocker Trust would falter, then Congress and the public would lose faith in all trust companies and banks would stand to gain, the bankers reasoned."
In timing with natural economic cycles, major banks including J.P. Morgan and Chase launched an all-out assault on Heinze's Knickerbocker Trust.
Financial institutions on the inside started silently selling off assets in the competitor, and headlines about a few bad loans started making top spots in the newspapers.
The run on Knickerbocker turned into a general panic - and the Federal Government would come to the rescue of its privately owned "National Banks.
"During the Panic of 1907, "Depositors 'run' on the Knickerbocker Bank. J.P. Morgan and James Stillman of First National City Bank (Citibank) act as a "central bank," providing liquidity ... [to stop the bank run] President Theodore Roosevelt provides Morgan with $25 million in government funds ... to control the panic. Morgan, acting as a one-man central bank, decides which firms will fail and which firms will survive."
How did JP Morgan get so powerful that the government would provide them with funding to increase their power? They had key influence with positions inside the Administrations.
They had senators, congressmen, lobbyists, media moguls all working for them.
In 1886, a group of millionaires purchased Jekyll Island and converted it into a winter retreat and hunting ground, the USA's most exclusive club. By 1900, the club's roster represented 1/6th of the world's wealth. Names like Astor, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Pulitzer and Gould filled the club's register. Non- members, regardless of stature, were not allowed. Dignitaries like Winston Churchill and President McKinley were refused admission.
In 1908, the year after a national money panic purportedly created by J. P. Morgan, Congress established, in 1908, a National Monetary Authority. In 1910 another, more secretive, group was formed consisting of the chiefs of major corporations and banks in this country. The group left secretly by rail from Hoboken, New Jersey, and traveled anonymously to the hunting lodge on Jekyll Island.
In fact, the Clubhouse/hotel on the island has two conference rooms named for the "Federal Reserve." The meeting was so secret that none referred to the other by his last name. Why the need for secrecy?
Frank Vanderlip wrote later in the Saturday Evening Post,
"...it would have been fatal to Senator Aldrich's plan to have it known that he was calling on anybody from Wall Street to help him in preparing his bill...I do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyll Island as the occasion of the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System."
At Jekyll Island, the true draftsman for the Federal Reserve was Paul Warburg. The plan was simple.
The new central bank could not be called a central bank because America did not want one, so it had to be given a deceptive name. Ostensibly, the bank was to be controlled by Congress, but a majority of its members were to be selected by the private banks that would own its stock.
To keep the public from thinking that the Federal Reserve would be controlled from New York, a system of twelve regional banks was designed. Given the concentration of money and credit in New York, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York controlled the system, making the regional concept initially nothing but a ruse.
The board and chairman were to be selected by the President, but in the words of Colonel Edward House, the board would serve such a term as to "put them out of the power of the President."
The power over the creation of money was to be taken from the people and placed in the hands of private bankers who could expand or contract credit as they felt best suited their needs. Why the opposition to a central bank? Americans at the time knew of the destruction to the economy the European central banks had caused to their respective countries and to countries who became their debtors.
They saw the large- scale government deficit spending and debt creation that occurred in Europe. But European financial moguls didn't rest until the New World was within their orbit. In 1902, Paul Warburg, a friend and associate of the Rothschilds and an expert on European central banking, came to this country as a partner in Kuhn, Loeb and Company.
He married the daughter of Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of the firm. The head of Kuhn, Loeb was Jacob Schiff, whose gift of $20 million in gold to the struggling Russian communists in 1917 no doubt saved their revolution. The Fed controls the banking system in the USA, not the Congress nor the people indirectly (as the Constitution dictates). The U.S. central bank strategy is a product of European banking interests.
Government interventionists got their wish in 1913 with the Federal Reserve (and income tax amendment). Just in time, too, because the nation needed a new source of unlimited cash to finance both sides of WW1 and eventually our own entry to the war.
After the war, with both sides owing us debt through the federal reserve backed banks, the center of finance moved from London to New York. But did the Federal Reserve reign in the money trusts and interlocking directorates? Not by a long shot. If anything, the Federal Reserve granted new powers to the National Banks by permitting overseas branches and new types of banking services.
The greatest gift to the bankers, was a virtually unlimited supply of loans when they experience liquidity problems.
From the early 1920s to 1929, the monetary supply expanded at a rapid pace and the nation experienced wild economic growth. Curiously, however, the number of banks started to decline for the first time in American history. Toward the end of the period, speculation and loose money had propelled asset and equity prices to unreal levels.
The stock market crashed, and as the banks struggled with liquidity problems, the Federal Reserve actually cut the money supply. Without a doubt, this is the greatest financial panic and economic collapse in American history - and it never could have happened on this scale without the Fed's intervention.
The number of banks crashed and a few of the old robber barons' banks managed to swoop in and grab up thousands of competitors for pennies on the dollar.
See:
America - From Freedom to Fascism The Money Masters Monopoly Men (below video):
VID
submitted by CuteBananaMuffin to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Stock Market Week Ahead for the trading week beginning February 4th, 2019 (News, Earnings, etc.)

Hey what's up stocks! Good morning and happy Sunday to all of you on this subreddit. I hope everyone made out pretty decent last week in the market, and are ready for the new trading week ahead! :)
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning February 4th, 2019.

Jobs report removes some fear, but market still in 'tug of war' over how much growth is slowing - (Source)

After January's strong jobs report calmed some recession fears, investors will be picking through the next wave of earnings reports and economic data for clues on just how much the U.S. economy could be slowing.
Dozens of earnings, from companies like Alphabet, Disney and Eli Lily, report in the week ahead, and there are just a few economic reports like trade data and ISM services on Tuesday. Investors will also be watching the outcome of Treasury auctions for $84 billion in Treasury notes and bonds Tuesday through Thursday, after the Fed's dovish tone helped put a lid on interest rates in the past week.
Nearly half the S&P 500 companies had reported for the fourth quarter by Friday morning, and 71 percent beat earnings estimates, while 62 percent have beaten revenue estimates. But earnings growth forecasts for the first quarter continue to decline as more companies report, and they are currently barely breaking even at under 1 percent growth, versus the 15 percent growth in the fourth quarter, according to Refinitiv.
"Granted the more we hear from companies, and particularly in terms of their guidance and projections on revenues, things can slowly change. The first thing companies do is they stop spending money. Cap spending slows down, and if revenue growth does not pick up, they let people go. This is still wait and see," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
Krosby said the 304,000 jobs added in January did ease some concerns about a slowing economy, as did a stronger than expected ISM manufacturing report Friday. But the view of the first quarter is still unclear, as many economic reports were missed during the government shutdown. Economists expect growth in the first quarter of just above 2 percent, after growth of about 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
Stocks closed out January with a sharp gain on Thursday, and started February on Friday on a flattish note. The S&P 500 has rebounded about 15 percent from its Dec. 24 closing low. Last month's 7.9 percent gain was the best performance for January in more than 30 years. The old Wall Street adage says 'so goes January, so goes the year.' If that holds, stocks could finish 2019 higher. But February is another story, and on average, it is a flat month for the S&P 500.
"The tug of war that you saw in the market, that was going on in the last half of last year is playing out in the data. Some of the data is a bit lower, but some of the economic surprises are picking up to the upside rather than downside," said Krosby.
Peter Boockvar, chief investment strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group, said the ISM may have improved but it reflected very low exports and flat backlogs, even though there was a snap back in new orders.
"I would fade the jobs report," said Boockvar, noting the level of growth may have been inflated by government workers taking on part-time jobs during the government shutdown.
Boocvkar said the jobs report also looked strong on the surface, but he's concerned the unemployment rate ticked up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent.
"The question of whether we go into a recession or not is how does the stock market affect confidence?" Boockvar said. Confidence readings in the past week were low, and consumer sentiment Friday was its lowest since before President Donald Trump took office.
Krosby said stocks could test recent lows or put in a higher low. If there's a big selloff, "That would not necessarily mean it was a clue a recession is coming. It's just a normal testing mechanism," she said.
The Fed removed a big concern from the markets in the past week, when its post-meeting statement and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's briefing tilted dovish, assuring markets the Fed would pause in its interest rate hiking. Investors had feared the Fed would hurt the softening economy with its rate hikes. Now, the biggest fears are about the trade war between the U.S. and China and slowing Chinese growth.
The jobs report, and the ISM manufacturing data were also important because the lack of data during the government's 35 day shutdown has left gaps in the economic picture.
"This is really a sign the Fed stole the thunder from the economic data. By saying they're patient plasters over any kind of economic data in the near term, and I suspect the near term lasts through the first quarter because of the government shutdown, the weather, weak GDP," said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.
Chandler said the markets will be hanging on any news on the trade talks with China. "Even if it's not the all encompassing trade deal we were promised, it's a return to where we were before with China promising to buy energy and farm products. We'll continue to have some kind of talks with the China, like we had under Obama and Bush," said Chandler.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Sector Performance WTD, MTD, YTD:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE WEEK-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE MONTH-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 3-MONTH PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 52-WEEK PERFORMANCE!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR CHART LINK #2!)

Now What?

What a year it has been. After the worst December for stocks in 87 years that contributed to the worst fourth quarter since the 2008–09 financial crisis, stocks have bounced back in spectacular fashion. In fact, with a day to go, stocks are looking at their best first month of the year in 30 years.
What could happen next? “We like to say that the easy 10% has been made off the lows and the next 10% will be much tougher,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Things like Fed policy, China uncertainty, and overall global growth concerns all will play a part in where equity markets go from here.”
With the S&P 500 Index about 10% away from new highs, we do think new highs are quite possible at some point this year. Positive news from the Federal Reserve (Fed) and China trade talks, as well as the realization by investors that the odds of a recession in 2019 are quite low could spark potential new highs. Remember, fiscal spending as a percentage of overall gross domestic product (GDP) is higher this year than it was last year. Many think the tax cut and fiscal policies in play last year were a one-time sugar high. We don’t see it that way and expect the benefits from fiscal policy to help extend this economic cycle at least another year—likely more.
As we head into February, note that it hasn’t been one of the best months for stocks. In fact, as our LPL Chart of the Day shows, since 1950, February has been virtually flat, and over the past 20 years only June and September have shown worse returns. Overall, the market gains have been quite impressive since the December 24 lows, but we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a near-term consolidation or pullback.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

A Fed Pause and the Flattening Yield Curve

Investors have increasingly positioned for a Federal Reserve (Fed) pause, which could portend a shift in fixed income markets. Fed fund futures are pricing in about a 70% probability that the Fed will keep rates unchanged for the rest of 2019, and the market’s dovish tilt has weighed on short-term rates.
As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 2-year yield has typically followed the fed funds rate since policymakers began raising rates in December 2015. While we expect one or two more hikes this cycle, there is a possibility that the Fed’s December hike was its last, which will likely cap short-term rates.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Short-term yields have outpaced longer-term yields over the past few years, flattening the yield curve and raising concerns that U.S. economic progress may not be able to keep up with the Fed’s tightening. The spread between the 2-year and 10-year yield has fallen negative before every single U.S. recession since 1970.
If the Fed pauses, the curve will likely reverse course and steepen as solid economic growth and quickening (but manageable) inflation drives longer-term yields higher. As mentioned in our Outlook 2019, FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, we’re forecasting the 10-year Treasury yield will increase significantly from current levels and trade within a range of 3.25–3.75% in 2019.
“We remain optimistic about U.S. economic growth prospects, and recent data show inflation remains at manageable levels,” said LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “Because of this, we expect the data-dependent Fed to be less aggressive than initially feared, as policymakers juggle these factors with the impacts of trade tensions and tepid global growth.”
To be clear, investors shouldn’t fear a flattening yield curve given the backdrop of solid economic growth and modest inflation. Historically, the yield curve has remained relatively flat or inverted for years before some recessions started. Since 1970, the United States has entered a recession an average of 21 months after the yield curve inverted.

Jobless Claims’ Historic Significance

Jobless claims have dropped to a 49-year low. Based on historical trends, this could signal that a U.S. economic recession is further off than many expect.
Data released January 24 showed jobless claims fell to 199K in the week ending January 18, the lowest number since 1969 and far below consensus estimates of 218K. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, current jobless claims have been significantly lower than those in the 12-month periods preceding each recession since the early 1970s.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Jobless claims have fallen out of the spotlight as the economic cycle has matured, but they could prove important again as investors’ recessionary fears increase. While most labor-market data serve as lagging indicators of U.S. economic health, jobless claims are a leading indicator. Historically, a 75–100K increase in claims over a 26-week period has been associated with a recession.
“Last week’s jobless claims print was particularly impressive given the partial government shutdown and weakening corporate sentiment,” said LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “The U.S. labor market remains strong and will help buoy consumer health and output growth this year.”
Other predictive data sets have signaled U.S. recessionary odds are low. Data last week showed the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI), based on 10 leading economic indicators (like jobless claims, manufacturers’ new orders, and stock prices), grew 4.3% year over year in December. In contrast, the LEI has turned negative year over year before all economic recessions since 1970. Because of its solid predictive ability, the LEI is a component of our Recession Watch Dashboard.

Best S&P January Since 1987

Most major U.S. stock indexes rallied to new recovery and year-to-date highs today shrugging off some misses and weakness from Microsoft, DuPont and Visa. S&P 500 finished the month strong with a 7.9% gain. This is the best S&P January since 1987. This is also the third January Trifecta in a row.
Last year the S&P 500 crumbled in the fourth quarter under the weight of triple threats from a hawkish and confusing Fed, a newly divided Congress and the U.S. trade battle with China, finishing in the red. 2017’s Trifecta was followed by a full-year gain of 19.4%, including a February-December gain of 17.3%. As you can see in the table below, the long term track record of the Trifecta is rather impressive, posting full-year gains in 27 of the 30 prior years with an average gain for the S&P 500 of 17.1%.
Devised by Yale Hirsch in 1972, the January Barometer has registered ten major errors since 1950 for an 85.5% accuracy ratio. This indicator adheres to propensity that as the S&P 500 goes in January, so goes the year. Of the ten major errors Vietnam affected 1966 and 1968. 1982 saw the start of a major bull market in August. Two January rate cuts and 9/11 affected 2001.The market in January 2003 was held down by the anticipation of military action in Iraq. The second worst bear market since 1900 ended in March of 2009 and Federal Reserve intervention influenced 2010 and 2014. In 2016, DJIA slipped into an official Ned Davis bear market in January. Including the eight flat years yields a .739 batting average.
Our January Indicator Trifecta combines the Santa Claus Rally, the First Five Days Early Warning System and our full-month January Barometer. The predicative power of the three is considerably greater than any of them alone; we have been rather impressed by its forecasting prowess. This is the 31st time since 1949 that all three January Indicators have been positive and the twelfth time (previous eleven times highlighted in grey in table below) this has occurred in a pre-election year.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
With the Fed turning more dovish and President Trump tacking to the center and meeting with China and market internals improving along with the gains, the market is tracking Base Case and Best Case scenarios outlined in our 2019 Annual Forecast. Next eleven month and full-year 2019 performance is expected to be more in line with typical Pre-Election returns.

February Almanac: Small-Caps Tend to Outperform

Even though February is right in the middle of the Best Six Months, its long-term track record, since 1950, is not all that stellar. February ranks no better than seventh and has posted paltry average gains except for the Russell 2000. Small cap stocks, benefiting from “January Effect” carry over; tend to outpace large cap stocks in February. The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks turns in an average gain of 1.1% in February since 1979—just the seventh best month for that benchmark.
In pre-election years, February’s performance generally improves with average returns all positive. NASDAQ performs best, gaining an average 2.8% in pre-election-year Februarys since 1971. Russell 2000 is second best, averaging gains of 2.5% since 1979. DJIA, S&P 500 and Russell 1000, the large-cap indices, tend to lag with average advances of around 1.0%.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

5% Months

7%? Bulls will take it! After an abysmal December, the S&P 500 is currently set to finish the month with its best January return since 1987. This month’s gain will mark the 16th time since the lows of the Financial Crisis in March 2009 that the S&P 500 has rallied more than 5% in a given month. The table below highlights each of the 15 prior months where the S&P 500 rallied more than 5% and shows how much the S&P 500 gained on the month as well as its performance on the last trading day of the month and the first trading day of the subsequent month.
When looking at the table, a few things stand out. First, the first trading day of a month that follows a month where the S&P 500 rallied more than 5% has been extremely positive as the S&P 500 averages a gain of 0.84% (median: 1.01%) with positive returns 13 out of 15 times! In addition to the positive tendency of markets on the first day of the new month, there has also been a clear tendency for the S&P 500 to decline on the last trading day of the strong month. The average decline on the last trading day of a strong month has been 0.09% with positive returns less than half of the time. This is no doubt related to the fact that funds are forced to rebalance out of equities to get back inline with their benchmark weights. However, on those five prior months where the S&P 500 bucked the trend and was positive on the last trading day of a 5%+ month, the average gain on the first trading day of the next month was even stronger at 1.52% with gains five out of six times.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for February 1st, 2019

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET UP!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 2.3.19

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET UP!)
Here are the most notable companies reporting earnings in this upcoming trading month ahead-
  • $GOOGL
  • $TWTR
  • $SNAP
  • $CLF
  • $TTWO
  • $ALXN
  • $DIS
  • $BP
  • $CLX
  • $SYY
  • $GM
  • $GILD
  • $CMG
  • $GRUB
  • $EA
  • $STX
  • $SPOT
  • $AMG
  • $SAIA
  • $RL
  • $CNC
  • $EL
  • $UFI
  • $GLUU
  • $MTSC
  • $JOUT
  • $PM
  • $GPRO
  • $LITE
  • $FEYE
  • $SWKS
  • $LLY
  • $MPC
  • $BDX
  • $REGN
  • $VIAB
  • $ONVO
  • $HUM
  • $ARRY
  • $PBI
  • $ADM
  • $BSAC
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S BIGGEST DECLINE IN EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST INCREASE IN EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 2.4.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Monday 2.4.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 2.5.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Tuesday 2.5.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Wednesday 2.6.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 2.6.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Thursday 2.7.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)

Thursday 2.7.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Friday 2.8.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 2.8.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

Alphabet, Inc. -

Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $11.08 per share on revenue of $31.28 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $11.03 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 14.23% with revenue decreasing by 3.23%. Short interest has decreased by 6.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 0.7% below its 200 day moving average of $1,127.05. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 24, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,493 contracts of the $1,200.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 5.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.8% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Twitter, Inc. $33.19

Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, February 7, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.25 per share on revenue of $871.59 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.29 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 38.89% with revenue increasing by 19.14%. Short interest has decreased by 54.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.1% below its 200 day moving average of $34.24. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, December 31, 2018 there was some notable buying of 45,575 contracts of the $34.00 call expiring on Friday, March 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 13.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 13.9% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Snap Inc. $6.91

Snap Inc. (SNAP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:10 PM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.08 per share on revenue of $376.64 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.04) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 31% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $355.00 million to $380.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.27% with revenue increasing by 31.83%. Short interest has decreased by 1.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 12.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 33.6% below its 200 day moving average of $10.40. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 3, 2019 there was some notable buying of 29,739 contracts of the $7.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 15.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 19.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc $10.53

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (CLF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Friday, February 8, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.57 per share on revenue of $713.61 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.63 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 87% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 119.23% with revenue increasing by 18.76%. Short interest has increased by 4.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 9.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 11.2% above its 200 day moving average of $9.47. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, January 7, 2019 there was some notable buying of 10,030 contracts of the $8.00 call expiring on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. $104.95

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.72 per share on revenue of $1.46 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.82 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 84% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.31 to $0.41 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 106.06% with revenue increasing by 203.64%. Short interest has increased by 37.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 18.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.9% below its 200 day moving average of $116.52. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,067 contracts of the $120.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. $126.28

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:35 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.82 per share on revenue of $1.06 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.95 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 67% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 23.81% with revenue increasing by 16.52%. Short interest has decreased by 16.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 0.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.8% above its 200 day moving average of $119.40. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,235 contracts of the $130.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 7.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.5% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Walt Disney Co $111.30

Walt Disney Co (DIS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.57 per share on revenue of $15.18 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.62 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 16.93% with revenue decreasing by 1.11%. Short interest has increased by 7.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 5.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.9% above its 200 day moving average of $109.22. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 8,822 contracts of the $110.00 put expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

BP p.l.c $41.34

BP p.l.c (BP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:25 AM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.77 per share on revenue of $60.72 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.75 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 20.31% with revenue decreasing by 13.28%. Short interest has increased by 6.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.9% below its 200 day moving average of $43.01. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 17, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,010 contracts of the $33.00 put expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 3.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Clorox Co. $149.86

Clorox Co. (CLX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.32 per share on revenue of $1.48 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.34 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 7.32% with revenue increasing by 4.52%. Short interest has decreased by 9.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 3.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.9% above its 200 day moving average of $141.57. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, January 18, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,025 contracts of the $152.50 put expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

SYSCO Corp. $63.57

SYSCO Corp. (SYY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.72 per share on revenue of $14.85 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.73 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 9.09% with revenue increasing by 3.04%. Short interest has decreased by 1.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 2.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.6% below its 200 day moving average of $67.34. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,691 contracts of the $66.00 call expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.8% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week ahead?
Have a fantastic Sunday and a great trading week ahead to all here on stocks! ;)
submitted by bigbear0083 to stocks [link] [comments]

Can spot forex traders use Sec 1256 contract?

I've read a lot of material on the website Greentradertax but i wanted to see if i could get more insight on this matter here. This is where i am deriving most of my info from.
"By default, forex spot and forward contracts have Section 988 ordinary gain or loss treatment. Traders holding these forex contracts as capital assets may file an internal contemporaneous “capital gains election” pursuant to IRC § 988(a)(1)(B) to opt out of section 988 and into capital gains and loss treatment. If such an election is made, then for forex forwards — and forward-like forex contracts, including spot forex in some cases — taxpayers may use Section 1256(g) (foreign currency contract) treatment, providing it’s in major currencies for which regulated futures contracts trade on U.S. futures exchanges, and the taxpayer does not take or make delivery of the underlying currency"
https://greentradertax.com/why-do-forex-forward-dealers-issue-1099s-yet-spot-forex-brokers-do-not/
My current broker is oanda and i know they do not release any tax forms to you. I will have to use my account statement to report my taxes.
So... Can a spot Forex trader opt out of Sec988 and elect for Sec 1256 tax treatment? If so how do i do this?
submitted by DudeInSuit to Forex [link] [comments]

Autolinking New TLDs Test

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example.DIRECTORY
example.DISCOUNT
example.DISCOVER
example.DISH
example.DIY
example.DJ
example.DK
example.DM
example.DNP
example.DO
example.DOCS
example.DOCTOR
example.DODGE
example.DOG
example.DOHA
example.DOMAINS
example.DOT
example.DOWNLOAD
example.DRIVE
example.DTV
example.DUBAI
example.DUCK
example.DUNLOP
example.DUNS
example.DUPONT
example.DURBAN
example.DVAG
example.DZ
example.EARTH
example.EAT
example.EC
example.ECO
example.EDEKA
example.EDU
example.EDUCATION
example.EE
example.EG
example.EMAIL
example.EMERCK
example.ENERGY
example.ENGINEER
example.ENGINEERING
example.ENTERPRISES
example.EPOST
example.EPSON
example.EQUIPMENT
example.ER
example.ERICSSON
example.ERNI
example.ES
example.ESQ
example.ESTATE
example.ESURANCE
example.ET
example.EU
example.EUROVISION
example.EUS
example.EVENTS
example.EVERBANK
example.EXCHANGE
example.EXPERT
example.EXPOSED
example.EXPRESS
example.EXTRASPACE
example.FAGE
example.FAIL
example.FAIRWINDS
example.FAITH
example.FAMILY
example.FAN
example.FANS
example.FARM
example.FARMERS
example.FASHION
example.FAST
example.FEDEX
example.FEEDBACK
example.FERRARI
example.FERRERO
example.FI
example.FIAT
example.FIDELITY
example.FIDO
example.FILM
example.FINAL
example.FINANCE
example.FINANCIAL
example.FIRE
example.FIRESTONE
example.FIRMDALE
example.FISH
example.FISHING
example.FIT
example.FITNESS
example.FJ
example.FK
example.FLICKR
example.FLIGHTS
example.FLIR
example.FLORIST
example.FLOWERS
example.FLY
example.FM
example.FO
example.FOO
example.FOODNETWORK
example.FOOTBALL
example.FORD
example.FOREX
example.FORSALE
example.FORUM
example.FOUNDATION
example.FOX
example.FR
example.FRESENIUS
example.FRL
example.FROGANS
example.FRONTDOOR
example.FRONTIER
example.FTR
example.FUJITSU
example.FUJIXEROX
example.FUND
example.FURNITURE
example.FUTBOL
example.FYI
example.GA
example.GAL
example.GALLERY
example.GALLO
example.GALLUP
example.GAME
example.GAMES
example.GAP
example.GARDEN
example.GB
example.GBIZ
example.GD
example.GDN
example.GE
example.GEA
example.GENT
example.GENTING
example.GEORGE
example.GF
example.GG
example.GGEE
example.GH
example.GI
example.GIFT
example.GIFTS
example.GIVES
example.GIVING
example.GL
example.GLADE
example.GLASS
example.GLE
example.GLOBAL
example.GLOBO
example.GM
example.GMAIL
example.GMBH
example.GMO
example.GMX
example.GN
example.GODADDY
example.GOLD
example.GOLDPOINT
example.GOLF
example.GOO
example.GOODHANDS
example.GOODYEAR
example.GOOG
example.GOOGLE
example.GOP
example.GOT
example.GOV
example.GP
example.GQ
example.GR
example.GRAINGER
example.GRAPHICS
example.GRATIS
example.GREEN
example.GRIPE
example.GROUP
example.GS
example.GT
example.GU
example.GUARDIAN
example.GUCCI
example.GUGE
example.GUIDE
example.GUITARS
example.GURU
example.GW
example.GY
example.HAMBURG
example.HANGOUT
example.HAUS
example.HBO
example.HDFC
example.HDFCBANK
example.HEALTH
example.HEALTHCARE
example.HELP
example.HELSINKI
example.HERE
example.HERMES
example.HGTV
example.HIPHOP
example.HISAMITSU
example.HITACHI
example.HIV
example.HK
example.HKT
example.HM
example.HN
example.HOCKEY
example.HOLDINGS
example.HOLIDAY
example.HOMEDEPOT
example.HOMEGOODS
example.HOMES
example.HOMESENSE
example.HONDA
example.HONEYWELL
example.HORSE
example.HOST
example.HOSTING
example.HOT
example.HOTELES
example.HOTMAIL
example.HOUSE
example.HOW
example.HR
example.HSBC
example.HT
example.HTC
example.HU
example.HUGHES
example.HYATT
example.HYUNDAI
example.IBM
example.ICBC
example.ICE
example.ICU
example.ID
example.IE
example.IEEE
example.IFM
example.IINET
example.IKANO
example.IL
example.IM
example.IMAMAT
example.IMDB
example.IMMO
example.IMMOBILIEN
example.IN
example.INDUSTRIES
example.INFINITI
example.INFO
example.ING
example.INK
example.INSTITUTE
example.INSURANCE
example.INSURE
example.INT
example.INTEL
example.INTERNATIONAL
example.INTUIT
example.INVESTMENTS
example.IO
example.IPIRANGA
example.IQ
example.IR
example.IRISH
example.IS
example.ISELECT
example.ISMAILI
example.IST
example.ISTANBUL
example.IT
example.ITAU
example.ITV
example.IWC
example.JAGUAR
example.JAVA
example.JCB
example.JCP
example.JE
example.JEEP
example.JETZT
example.JEWELRY
example.JLC
example.JLL
example.JM
example.JMP
example.JNJ
example.JO
example.JOBS
example.JOBURG
example.JOT
example.JOY
example.JP
example.JPMORGAN
example.JPRS
example.JUEGOS
example.JUNIPER
example.KAUFEN
example.KDDI
example.KE
example.KERRYHOTELS
example.KERRYLOGISTICS
example.KERRYPROPERTIES
example.KFH
example.KG
example.KH
example.KI
example.KIA
example.KIM
example.KINDER
example.KINDLE
example.KITCHEN
example.KIWI
example.KM
example.KN
example.KOELN
example.KOMATSU
example.KOSHER
example.KP
example.KPMG
example.KPN
example.KR
example.KRD
example.KRED
example.KUOKGROUP
example.KW
example.KY
example.KYOTO
example.KZ
example.LA
example.LACAIXA
example.LADBROKES
example.LAMBORGHINI
example.LAMER
example.LANCASTER
example.LANCIA
example.LANCOME
example.LAND
example.LANDROVER
example.LANXESS
example.LASALLE
example.LAT
example.LATINO
example.LATROBE
example.LAW
example.LAWYER
example.LB
example.LC
example.LDS
example.LEASE
example.LECLERC
example.LEFRAK
example.LEGAL
example.LEGO
example.LEXUS
example.LGBT
example.LI
example.LIAISON
example.LIDL
example.LIFE
example.LIFEINSURANCE
example.LIFESTYLE
example.LIGHTING
example.LIKE
example.LILLY
example.LIMITED
example.LIMO
example.LINCOLN
example.LINDE
example.LINK
example.LIPSY
example.LIVE
example.LIVING
example.LIXIL
example.LK
example.LOAN
example.LOANS
example.LOCKER
example.LOCUS
example.LOFT
example.LOL
example.LONDON
example.LOTTE
example.LOTTO
example.LOVE
example.LPL
example.LPLFINANCIAL
example.LR
example.LS
example.LT
example.LTD
example.LTDA
example.LU
example.LUNDBECK
example.LUPIN
example.LUXE
example.LUXURY
example.LV
example.LY
example.MA
example.MACYS
example.MADRID
example.MAIF
example.MAISON
example.MAKEUP
example.MAN
example.MANAGEMENT
example.MANGO
example.MARKET
example.MARKETING
example.MARKETS
example.MARRIOTT
example.MARSHALLS
example.MASERATI
example.MATTEL
example.MBA
example.MC
example.MCD
example.MCDONALDS
example.MCKINSEY
example.MD
example.ME
example.MED
example.MEDIA
example.MEET
example.MELBOURNE
example.MEME
example.MEMORIAL
example.MEN
example.MENU
example.MEO
example.METLIFE
example.MG
example.MH
example.MIAMI
example.MICROSOFT
example.MIL
example.MINI
example.MINT
example.MIT
example.MITSUBISHI
example.MK
example.ML
example.MLB
example.MLS
example.MM
example.MMA
example.MN
example.MO
example.MOBI
example.MOBILY
example.MODA
example.MOE
example.MOI
example.MOM
example.MONASH
example.MONEY
example.MONSTER
example.MONTBLANC
example.MOPAR
example.MORMON
example.MORTGAGE
example.MOSCOW
example.MOTORCYCLES
example.MOV
example.MOVIE
example.MOVISTAR
example.MP
example.MQ
example.MR
example.MS
example.MSD
example.MT
example.MTN
example.MTPC
example.MTR
example.MU
example.MUSEUM
example.MUTUAL
example.MUTUELLE
example.MV
example.MW
example.MX
example.MY
example.MZ
example.NA
example.NAB
example.NADEX
example.NAGOYA
example.NAME
example.NATIONWIDE
example.NATURA
example.NAVY
example.NBA
example.NC
example.NE
example.NEC
example.NET
example.NETBANK
example.NETFLIX
example.NETWORK
example.NEUSTAR
example.NEW
example.NEWS
example.NEXT
example.NEXTDIRECT
example.NEXUS
example.NF
example.NFL
example.NG
example.NGO
example.NHK
example.NI
example.NICO
example.NIKE
example.NIKON
example.NINJA
example.NISSAN
example.NISSAY
example.NL
example.NO
example.NOKIA
example.NORTHWESTERNMUTUAL
example.NORTON
example.NOW
example.NOWRUZ
example.NOWTV
example.NP
example.NR
example.NRA
example.NRW
example.NTT
example.NU
example.NYC
example.NZ
example.OBI
example.OFF
example.OFFICE
example.OKINAWA
example.OLAYAN
example.OLAYANGROUP
example.OLDNAVY
example.OLLO
example.OM
example.OMEGA
example.ONE
example.ONG
example.ONL
example.ONLINE
example.ONYOURSIDE
example.OOO
example.OPEN
example.ORACLE
example.ORANGE
example.ORG
example.ORGANIC
example.ORIENTEXPRESS
example.ORIGINS
example.OSAKA
example.OTSUKA
example.OTT
example.OVH
example.PA
example.PAGE
example.PAMPEREDCHEF
example.PANASONIC
example.PANERAI
example.PARIS
example.PARS
example.PARTNERS
example.PARTS
example.PARTY
example.PASSAGENS
example.PAY
example.PCCW
example.PE
example.PET
example.PF
example.PFIZER
example.PG
example.PH
example.PHARMACY
example.PHILIPS
example.PHOTO
example.PHOTOGRAPHY
example.PHOTOS
example.PHYSIO
example.PIAGET
example.PICS
example.PICTET
example.PICTURES
example.PID
example.PIN
example.PING
example.PINK
example.PIONEER
example.PIZZA
example.PK
example.PL
example.PLACE
example.PLAY
example.PLAYSTATION
example.PLUMBING
example.PLUS
example.PM
example.PN
example.PNC
example.POHL
example.POKER
example.POLITIE
example.PORN
example.POST
example.PR
example.PRAMERICA
example.PRAXI
example.PRESS
example.PRIME
example.PRO
example.PROD
example.PRODUCTIONS
example.PROF
example.PROGRESSIVE
example.PROMO
example.PROPERTIES
example.PROPERTY
example.PROTECTION
example.PRU
example.PRUDENTIAL
example.PS
example.PT
example.PUB
example.PW
example.PWC
example.PY
example.QA
example.QPON
example.QUEBEC
example.QUEST
example.QVC
example.RACING
example.RAID
example.RE
example.READ
example.REALESTATE
example.REALTOR
example.REALTY
example.RECIPES
example.RED
example.REDSTONE
example.REDUMBRELLA
example.REHAB
example.REISE
example.REISEN
example.REIT
example.REN
example.RENT
example.RENTALS
example.REPAIR
example.REPORT
example.REPUBLICAN
example.REST
example.RESTAURANT
example.REVIEW
example.REVIEWS
example.REXROTH
example.RICH
example.RICHARDLI
example.RICOH
example.RIGHTATHOME
example.RIO
example.RIP
example.RO
example.ROCHER
example.ROCKS
example.RODEO
example.ROGERS
example.ROOM
example.RS
example.RSVP
example.RU
example.RUHR
example.RUN
example.RW
example.RWE
example.RYUKYU
example.SA
example.SAARLAND
example.SAFE
example.SAFETY
example.SAKURA
example.SALE
example.SALON
example.SAMSCLUB
example.SAMSUNG
example.SANDVIK
example.SANDVIKCOROMANT
example.SANOFI
example.SAP
example.SAPO
example.SARL
example.SAS
example.SAVE
example.SAXO
example.SB
example.SBI
example.SBS
example.SC
example.SCA
example.SCB
example.SCHAEFFLER
example.SCHMIDT
example.SCHOLARSHIPS
example.SCHOOL
example.SCHULE
example.SCHWARZ
example.SCIENCE
example.SCJOHNSON
example.SCOR
example.SCOT
example.SD
example.SE
example.SEAT
example.SECURE
example.SECURITY
example.SEEK
example.SELECT
example.SENER
example.SERVICES
example.SES
example.SEVEN
example.SEW
example.SEX
example.SEXY
example.SFR
example.SG
example.SH
example.SHANGRILA
example.SHARP
example.SHAW
example.SHELL
example.SHIA
example.SHIKSHA
example.SHOES
example.SHOP
example.SHOPPING
example.SHOUJI
example.SHOW
example.SHOWTIME
example.SHRIRAM
example.SI
example.SILK
example.SINA
example.SINGLES
example.SITE
example.SJ
example.SK
example.SKI
example.SKIN
example.SKY
example.SKYPE
example.SL
example.SLING
example.SM
example.SMART
example.SMILE
example.SN
example.SNCF
example.SO
example.SOCCER
example.SOCIAL
example.SOFTBANK
example.SOFTWARE
example.SOHU
example.SOLAR
example.SOLUTIONS
example.SONG
example.SONY
example.SOY
example.SPACE
example.SPIEGEL
example.SPOT
example.SPREADBETTING
example.SR
example.SRL
example.SRT
example.ST
example.STADA
example.STAPLES
example.STAR
example.STARHUB
example.STATEBANK
example.STATEFARM
example.STATOIL
example.STC
example.STCGROUP
example.STOCKHOLM
example.STORAGE
example.STORE
example.STREAM
example.STUDIO
example.STUDY
example.STYLE
example.SU
example.SUCKS
example.SUPPLIES
example.SUPPLY
example.SUPPORT
example.SURF
example.SURGERY
example.SUZUKI
example.SV
example.SWATCH
example.SWIFTCOVER
example.SWISS
example.SX
example.SY
example.SYDNEY
example.SYMANTEC
example.SYSTEMS
example.SZ
example.TAB
example.TAIPEI
example.TALK
example.TAOBAO
example.TARGET
example.TATAMOTORS
example.TATAR
example.TATTOO
example.TAX
example.TAXI
example.TC
example.TCI
example.TD
example.TDK
example.TEAM
example.TECH
example.TECHNOLOGY
example.TEL
example.TELECITY
example.TELEFONICA
example.TEMASEK
example.TENNIS
example.TEVA
example.TF
example.TG
example.TH
example.THD
example.THEATER
example.THEATRE
example.TIAA
example.TICKETS
example.TIENDA
example.TIFFANY
example.TIPS
example.TIRES
example.TIROL
example.TJ
example.TJMAXX
example.TJX
example.TK
example.TKMAXX
example.TL
example.TM
example.TMALL
example.TN
example.TO
example.TODAY
example.TOKYO
example.TOOLS
example.TOP
example.TORAY
example.TOSHIBA
example.TOTAL
example.TOURS
example.TOWN
example.TOYOTA
example.TOYS
example.TR
example.TRADE
example.TRADING
example.TRAINING
example.TRAVEL
example.TRAVELCHANNEL
example.TRAVELERS
example.TRAVELERSINSURANCE
example.TRUST
example.TRV
example.TT
example.TUBE
example.TUI
example.TUNES
example.TUSHU
example.TV
example.TVS
example.TW
example.TZ
example.UA
example.UBANK
example.UBS
example.UCONNECT
example.UG
example.UK
example.UNICOM
example.UNIVERSITY
example.UNO
example.UOL
example.UPS
example.US
example.UY
example.UZ
example.VA
example.VACATIONS
example.VANA
example.VANGUARD
example.VC
example.VE
example.VEGAS
example.VENTURES
example.VERISIGN
example.VERSICHERUNG
example.VET
example.VG
example.VI
example.VIAJES
example.VIDEO
example.VIG
example.VIKING
example.VILLAS
example.VIN
example.VIP
example.VIRGIN
example.VISA
example.VISION
example.VISTA
example.VISTAPRINT
example.VIVA
example.VIVO
example.VLAANDEREN
example.VN
example.VODKA
example.VOLKSWAGEN
example.VOTE
example.VOTING
example.VOTO
example.VOYAGE
example.VU
example.VUELOS
example.WALES
example.WALMART
example.WALTER
example.WANG
example.WANGGOU
example.WARMAN
example.WATCH
example.WATCHES
example.WEATHER
example.WEATHERCHANNEL
example.WEBCAM
example.WEBER
example.WEBSITE
example.WED
example.WEDDING
example.WEIBO
example.WEIR
example.WF
example.WHOSWHO
example.WIEN
example.WIKI
example.WILLIAMHILL
example.WIN
example.WINDOWS
example.WINE
example.WINNERS
example.WME
example.WOLTERSKLUWER
example.WOODSIDE
example.WORK
example.WORKS
example.WORLD
example.WOW
example.WS
example.WTC
example.WTF
example.XBOX
example.XEROX
example.XFINITY
example.XIHUAN
example.XIN
example.XN--11B4C3D
example.XN--1CK2E1B
example.XN--1QQW23A
example.XN--30RR7Y
example.XN--3BST00M
example.XN--3DS443G
example.XN--3E0B707E
example.XN--3OQ18VL8PN36A
example.XN--3PXU8K
example.XN--42C2D9A
example.XN--45BRJ9C
example.XN--45Q11C
example.XN--4GBRIM
example.XN--55QW42G
example.XN--55QX5D
example.XN--5SU34J936BGSG
example.XN--5TZM5G
example.XN--6FRZ82G
example.XN--6QQ986B3XL
example.XN--80ADXHKS
example.XN--80AO21A
example.XN--80ASEHDB
example.XN--80ASWG
example.XN--8Y0A063A
example.XN--90A3AC
example.XN--90AE
example.XN--90AIS
example.XN--9DBQ2A
example.XN--9ET52U
example.XN--9KRT00A
example.XN--B4W605FERD
example.XN--BCK1B9A5DRE4C
example.XN--C1AVG
example.XN--C2BR7G
example.XN--CCK2B3B
example.XN--CG4BKI
example.XN--CLCHC0EA0B2G2A9GCD
example.XN--CZR694B
example.XN--CZRS0T
example.XN--CZRU2D
example.XN--D1ACJ3B
example.XN--D1ALF
example.XN--E1A4C
example.XN--ECKVDTC9D
example.XN--EFVY88H
example.XN--ESTV75G
example.XN--FCT429K
example.XN--FHBEI
example.XN--FIQ228C5HS
example.XN--FIQ64B
example.XN--FIQS8S
example.XN--FIQZ9S
example.XN--FJQ720A
example.XN--FLW351E
example.XN--FPCRJ9C3D
example.XN--FZC2C9E2C
example.XN--FZYS8D69UVGM
example.XN--G2XX48C
example.XN--GCKR3F0F
example.XN--GECRJ9C
example.XN--H2BRJ9C
example.XN--HXT814E
example.XN--I1B6B1A6A2E
example.XN--IMR513N
example.XN--IO0A7I
example.XN--J1AEF
example.XN--J1AMH
example.XN--J6W193G
example.XN--JLQ61U9W7B
example.XN--JVR189M
example.XN--KCRX77D1X4A
example.XN--KPRW13D
example.XN--KPRY57D
example.XN--KPU716F
example.XN--KPUT3I
example.XN--L1ACC
example.XN--LGBBAT1AD8J
example.XN--MGB9AWBF
example.XN--MGBA3A3EJT
example.XN--MGBA3A4F16A
example.XN--MGBA7C0BBN0A
example.XN--MGBAAM7A8H
example.XN--MGBAB2BD
example.XN--MGBAYH7GPA
example.XN--MGBB9FBPOB
example.XN--MGBBH1A71E
example.XN--MGBC0A9AZCG
example.XN--MGBCA7DZDO
example.XN--MGBERP4A5D4AR
example.XN--MGBPL2FH
example.XN--MGBT3DHD
example.XN--MGBTX2B
example.XN--MGBX4CD0AB
example.XN--MIX891F
example.XN--MK1BU44C
example.XN--MXTQ1M
example.XN--NGBC5AZD
example.XN--NGBE9E0A
example.XN--NODE
example.XN--NQV7F
example.XN--NQV7FS00EMA
example.XN--NYQY26A
example.XN--O3CW4H
example.XN--OGBPF8FL
example.XN--P1ACF
example.XN--P1AI
example.XN--PBT977C
example.XN--PGBS0DH
example.XN--PSSY2U
example.XN--Q9JYB4C
example.XN--QCKA1PMC
example.XN--QXAM
example.XN--RHQV96G
example.XN--ROVU88B
example.XN--S9BRJ9C
example.XN--SES554G
example.XN--T60B56A
example.XN--TCKWE
example.XN--UNUP4Y
example.XN--VERMGENSBERATER-CTB
example.XN--VERMGENSBERATUNG-PWB
example.XN--VHQUV
example.XN--VUQ861B
example.XN--W4R85EL8FHU5DNRA
example.XN--W4RS40L
example.XN--WGBH1C
example.XN--WGBL6A
example.XN--XHQ521B
example.XN--XKC2AL3HYE2A
example.XN--XKC2DL3A5EE0H
example.XN--Y9A3AQ
example.XN--YFRO4I67O
example.XN--YGBI2AMMX
example.XN--ZFR164B
example.XPERIA
example.XXX
example.XYZ
example.YACHTS
example.YAHOO
example.YAMAXUN
example.YANDEX
example.YE
example.YODOBASHI
example.YOGA
example.YOKOHAMA
example.YOU
example.YOUTUBE
example.YT
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[Table] IAmA: We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!

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Date: 2013-05-24
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Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this! There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries? Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"
Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage? There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities? Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term? Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin? It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"
How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show? I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too). Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.
What recording tools are you using? We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity? Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story? China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast. Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question, Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.
How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis? But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail. There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.
How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it? In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency? I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this? The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
Great podcast, can't wait for the next one! It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain? More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then? 1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency? 2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running? No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this? Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.
Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory? What standard is your currency backed by?
Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013! Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet? The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)
What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved? For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013? Sure, i'll make a wild guess.
$1000.
If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.
How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it? Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern? I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.
Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.
Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery? Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system. Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system? Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show? We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff? Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin. I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed! I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.
We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.
US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering? It may eventually go to Supreme Court.
I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe. There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price. The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.
What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings. As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it) Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin? Probably. Not really my area of expertise.
Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank? I don't pay attention to price, sorry.
We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains! Lol.
Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you. I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass. Link to static.quickmeme.com
Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly. Link to i.qkme.me
Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value? Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money. I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com
You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.
Last updated: 2013-05-29 11:06 UTC
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