Sunday, August 24, 2008

Conoco Phillips Analysis

Let us look at Conoco again after the rumors that Warren Buffett is doing something with the stock. We will key off our analysis from FY08 Q2 report as well as FY07 annual report.

Let us look at the proven reserves and the estimated cash flows from proven reserves. Conoco provides an estimate using 2007 year-end prices and costs (adjusted only for existing contractual changes), appropriate statutory tax rates and a prescribed 10 percent discount factor. It also assumes continuation of year-end economic conditions. The calculation is based on estimates of proved reserves, which are revised over time as new data become available. The future cash flows has been trending up primarily because of the increase in crude prices. It has jumped from 51 billion to 67 billion dollars from 2006 to 2007.

In Q2 conference call, the management said that there wont be any more major acquisitions in the near future as it won't provide additional value to share holders. Also ,at the end of Q2, the book value was close to $62/share. Of this, $20 billion came from the Lukoil investment. This has fallen somewhat since the Russian invasion of Georgia and also the subsequent oil price drop. It is likely that oil prices will remain high in the future as there are no significant new discoveries to offset depleting oil fields. COP is also in talks with Petrobras to do some joint venture in some areas ( specifics not known ). The company is also spending significant amount of cash to buy back shares.

The oil prices have since jumped up by about 15% since the end of 2007. This has led to the decline in usage of oil in the US by about 3% year over year. COP has also allocated about $10 billion to buy back its shares. This combined with the increase in gas prices lead one to believe that book value of COP will keep increasing at a steady pace through this year and next.

From a price to cashflow as well as price to book perspective, COP looks more attractive compared to the other oil majors at this point in time.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

BRKA Q2 Analysis

Berkshire Hathaway filed its Q2 earnings on 08/08/08. I was hoping Berkshire to report headline grabbing mark to market losses with derivatives. This would have opened a buying opportunity for me. However, it turns out that Berkshire had less mark to market losses.

Let us look at the balance sheets to see how Berkshire did.

The shareholders equity took a small drop (2.3%) compared to December 31st. Berkshire's stock holdings have taken a mark to market drop of abotu 5.5 billion in the six month period which have since recovered. In the first six months of the year, 26.7 billion of fixed income securities were bought along with 5.5 billion of equity securities. ( 11.9 billion dollar worth of securities were sold as well ) Overall, in the first six months, 19.4 billion dollars were deployed.

Let us look at the cash flow from operations. This declined to 4.99 billion from 7.43 billion from the corresponding period last year. It is a 33% drop, primarily attributable to the reinsurance market slump.

Interestingly, the interest, dividend and other investment income came in at 2.4 billion for the first six months at par with last year. This should increase in the coming years because of the large investment in the fixed income category.

Insurance underwriting gain declined this year compared to last year. The decline was across all insurance sectors with the exception of Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group. BHAC, the monoline insurer is now operational in 49 states. This sector is expected to be lumpy in earnings and very few reinsurance contracts were written in the first six months of the year.

Utilities section continues to do well with earnings fallling slightly for the quarter but up for the first six months.

Manufacturing, service and retailing continues to do wel in a tough environment. The total revenues jumped up to 17.49 billion from 14.98 billion thanks to the Marmon/TTI acquisition. Earnings also increased by 11.5%. The general trend in manufacturing/retail is that revenues are up but income is down. This is a trend across all businesses as we see increased inflation but that can't be passed on to consumers.

Finance and financial products also declined somewhat compared to the prior year. Manufactured housing, furniture/transportation leasing hasnt fallen off a cliff but are down nominally.

In general, going by strict quantitative analysis, the IV is around 142K/A share. However, IV is also the potential cash that can be taken out of the business in its life time. With this calculation, under normal economic conditions, the IV will be closer to 150-160K/share.