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Baytex (TSX:BTE) Is Dirt Cheap for a Reason

Group of industrial workers in a refinery - oil processing equipment and machinery

For some time, I have been bullish on the outlook for beaten upstream oil producer Baytex Energy (TSX:BTE)(NYSE:BTE), particularly after it acquired Raging River Exploration, which boosted its light oil production. Despite the benefits of this deal, which was completed in August 2018, the market has heavily marked down Baytex’s stock; it’s declined by 8% since the start of 2019, despite oil gaining around 20%. This has sparked considerable speculation that Baytex is very attractively valued, making now the time to buy before the next oil rally.

Outlook is uncertain

Regardless of the attractive aspects of Baytex’s operations and assets, there are signs that it may not perform as well as those pundits believe. A key issue impacting Baytex is its heavily leveraged balance sheet, with long-term liabilities of almost $3 billion for a company with a $1.3 billion market cap. That massive pile of debt is a worrying four times trailing 12-month funds flow, indicating that it will be difficult to manage, especially if oil plunges once again.

Of greater concern is that there are several near-term maturities, which are creating additional pressure for Baytex in the current difficult operating environment. The $413 million drawn on its credit facilities is due for repayment in early April 2021, while $720 million in long-term notes mature in February 2021. This is a worrying development, because Baytex finished the second quarter 2019 with no cash on hand and receivables of $157 million.

The driller is also not free cash flow positive, meaning it is difficult to see how it can accrue the required funds to meet those debt maturities. There is every likelihood that oil will remain soft for the foreseeable future, further impacting Baytex’s ability to generate the required cash flow to meet its financial obligations.

That is being further negatively affected by the driller’s poor operating netback, which is a key indication of operational profitability and for the second quarter was $29.27 per barrel produced. Baytex’s netback is being impacted because of the discounts applied to Canadian crude benchmark prices, notably heavy oil which makes up 28% of its production. Weaker natural gas and the discount applied to the Canadian AECO benchmark which is trading at US$1.30 per MMBtu, or almost half the North American Henry Hub benchmark, is also having a marked impact on Baytex’s earnings.

For these reasons, it is difficult to see how Baytex can generate enough free cash flow to meet its substantial near-term financial obligations.

There is every likelihood that oil will remain weak, and that WTI will trade at less than US$70 per barrel over the next year. A combination of a softer economic outlook, fears of a recession, the U.S. China trade war, weaker manufacturing activity in China, and poor growth in Europe have all caused demand growth for oil to deteriorate significantly.

A report from Citigroup earlier this month stated that demand growth has almost halved and the impact of weaker consumption on prices is being magnified by rising supply. U.S. shale oil production continues to soar, which, along with large oil inventories, is weighing on oil prices, and, according to analysts, prevented crude from soaring to triple figures in the wake of the attacks that took around half of Saudi Arabia’s production offline.

Foolish takeaway

Baytex, because of its significant amount of debt and large looming maturities, is increasingly vulnerable to weaker oil prices and the poor outlook for the fossil fuel. This coupled with it being exposed to the discounts on Canadian oil benchmark prices, lack of free cash flow, and working capital deficiency makes Baytex an unappealing play on higher crude.

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Global Retirement Index: S’pore tops list of countries for retirement finances, scores low in quality of life and material wellbeing

Singapore scored first for retirement finances out of 44 countries surveyed in the latest edition of the Global Retirement Index (GRI) for this year.

In the GRI report released by Natixis Investment Managers last Fri (20 Sep), Singapore came in close competition with New Zealand in the Finances sub-index, with similar rounded scores of 79 per cent in the past three years.

According to the GRI framework, retirement finances encompass how sound a country’s financial system is, how much savings and investment it has made, and to what extent it has preserved the purchasing power of savings.

Source: Natixis

While Singapore demonstrated “the largest improvement” in the health sub-index among all of the countries surveyed, having gone up five places in the list, the Republic obtained the “seventh lowest score among all countries measured”.

Source: Natixis

Following such, Natixis said that there is “still room for improvement” in terms of insured health expenditure in Singapore’s overall ranking in the health sub-index.

An increase in the life expectancy indicator is also observed, as Singapore moves up three spots to fourth place.

Quality of life and material wellbeing, however, are the sub-index areas in which Singapore has performed relatively poorly – at 52 per cent in both areas – in comparison to retirement finances and health.

Singapore also fell by two spots to 41st place, reportedly due to lower scores in terms of happiness in society and a decline in environment factors.

The quality of life sub-index gauges the level of happiness and fulfilment of members of a particular country’s society, as well as basic living conditions such as air quality, water and sanitation, and biodiversity and habitat.

The material well-being sub-index in particular measures the ability of a country’s population to provide for their material needs.

Singapore fell from 29th place last year to 32nd overall this year in terms of the material well-being sub-index despite ranking highly in terms of income per capita and employment indicators.

This can be attributed to a decrease in income equality, according to Natixis,

“With the increasingly uncertain economic conditions and improved life expectancies, it has become imperative for individuals to be proactive in starting early for retirement planning,” said Madeline Ho, executive managing director and head of wholesale fund distribution for Asia-Pacific at Natixis Investment Managers.

“Individuals in Singapore are well-equipped to leverage a conducive environment to plan for their retirement security well into their silver years, given Singapore’s established track record in good governance and a robust financial infrastructure,” she added.

Singapore is ranked 28th place out of 44 countries surveyed in the GRI, as seen in the table below.

Source: Natixis

Notably, none of the five Asian countries surveyed made it to the top 25 in the quality of life sub-index, while several countries out of the top 10 were Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland – and closer to Singapore, New Zealand – also made the top 10 in the quality of life sub-index, as well as in the overall ranking.

Iceland tops the overall list, replacing Switzerland this year, while Norway remains third.

Source: Natixis

The post Global Retirement Index: S’pore tops list of countries for retirement finances, scores low in quality of life and material wellbeing appeared first on The Online Citizen.

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Why Shorting Marijuana Stocks Is Becoming Hugely Profitable

Female scientist in a hemp field checking plants and flowers, alternative herbal medicine concept

When it comes to investing in marijuana stocks, one thing is becoming quite clear: these companies are facing a crisis of confidence.

The hype that was created after the legalization of recreational use in Canada is losing its steam fast, while investors await a clear path to profitability. Unfortunately, not many companies have been able to show that path as their earnings miss estimates, while the future doesn’t look quite promising.

The latest example that proves this point is Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB)(NYSE:ACB), the second-largest cannabis company by market value. This marijuana producer, early this month, missed its own revenue target and reported a loss, despite an earlier promise that it would be profitable by the quarter ended June 30. 

Aurora said last month that it expected to report net revenue of $100 million-$107 million for its fiscal fourth quarter. Instead, Aurora reported revenue of $98.9 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $11.7 million. 

Industry bottlenecks

According to the company’s chief corporate officer Cam Battley, the revenue miss “shouldn’t have happened,” but he noted that it stemmed from some of the company’s non-core cannabis revenues, such as analytical testing and patient counselling.

He added that while the company had earlier anticipated it would reach positive EBITDA in the latest quarter, it will likely be in the fiscal 2020 year given that fewer-than-expected retail outlets have opened their doors.

“If there were a broader retail infrastructure, and more stores available in Canada and open, that pretty likely would have made the difference toward us reaching that milestone,” he said in an a TV interview with BNN.

Earnings misses from some of the largest marijuana producers are making this trade very profitable for at least one sector of the market, and those are the short-sellers.

Weaker-than-expected quarterly results from some of the biggest names in cannabis have contributed to the recent slump in their  stocks, with the BI Global Cannabis Competitive Peers index down about 40% from its 2019 high on March 21.

Positions in the 20 most-shorted pot stocks have made $1.17 billion so far in the third quarter, according to an analysis by S3 Partners, Bloomberg News reported. These trends make it quite clear that buying marijuana stocks probably won’t be a good idea unless there are signs that these companies are turning the corner.

But that may not happen soon, given many hurdles that the industry is facing, including opening of new retail stores in Canada and the introduction of new value-added products. 

“We consider that potential challenges associated with the value-add product roll-out may not be fully recognized at this point,” said Tamy Chen, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets. “We believe there will likely be bottlenecks in industry distribution channels that would limit the sell-in of these products to provinces and retailers in H1/20.”

 Bottom line

Many marijuana stocks are trading much below than their highs this year. High-risk investors can take advantage and pick some big stocks on these depressed prices. But the trade in marijuana stocks is looking more lucrative for short-sellers at this point than for value investors.  

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Fool contributor Haris Anwar has no position in the stocks mentioned in this article.

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Top Flight Deals for September 21, 2019 (Discount, Savings Tips, & More)

top flight deals top ten flight dealsBelow you’ll find the top flight deals hand picked from our editors. These deals are so good, we booked one or more of these flights for ourselves. Be sure to check back on this list for new top flight deals brought to you daily. Now, be sure to take advantage of these deals as soon as possible as these deals could be fully booked or go up in price.

With these top hot deals in place, we’ll help you take it a step further to save even more money! Here are our tips:

  • If applicable, we recommend you purchase your preferred airline’s gift card through a cashback shopping portal (my personal favorite is TopCashBack), where you can earn as much as 25%+ cashback on your purchases. Then use that gift card to book your flights. There are other platforms where you can purchase gift cards under face value – this guarantees instant savings. Be sure to purchase these gift cards with a credit card to earn points/cash back.
  • Use a credit card that offers points/cash back. Similar to cashback shopping portals, you can often combine these two vehicles to maximize your savings! You can also book your flights, hotels, etc through your bank’s shopping portal.
  • Do you like free money? Did you know banks offer you cash bonuses to open an account? Consequently, if you do not have enough for the product/service you want to purchase, check out this list of bank bonuses!
  • If you’re saving up for a particular purchase, store your money in an interest bearing account so you can earn interest – which could speed up the process. If the purchase is long term, consider opening a certificate of deposit account which typically offers higher rates.

We recommend you book your flight with Priceline to find the best deals or book your flight with Orbitz for more available times. You can also try booking through Google Flights or Expedia if there’s a better deal than the one we mentioned.

Priceline Orbitz

Top Flight Deals of the Day

Domestic Flights

  1. American Airlines from Dallas, TX to Portland, OR (e.g. 1/25-2/1)
    • Starting from $197 for travel from October – February
  2. United Airlines from Minneapolis, MN to Miami, FL (e.g. 1/8/20-1/15/20)
    • Starting from $164 for travel from January – March 2020.
  3. American Airlines from Minneapolis, MN to Philadelphia, PA (e.g. 11/02-11/09)
    • Starting from $114 for travel from September – November
  4. Delta Airlines from Minneapolis, MN to Nashville, TN (e.g. 1/14/-1/21)
    • Starting from $177 for travel from October – April
  5. Delta Airlines from Boston, MA to Austin, Texas(e.g. 1/14/-1/21)
    • Starting from $137 for travel from January 2020 – February 2020
  6. jetBlue Airlines from New York City, NY to Los Angeles, CA (e.g. 10/06-10/29)
    • Starting from $237 for travel from late October – early November
  7. jetBlue Airlines from Minneapolis, MN to Charlotte, NC (e.g. 10/30-11/02)
    • Starting from $199 for travel from late October – March 2020
  8. American Airlines from Phoenix, AZ to Chicago, IL (e.g. 1/7/20-1/12/20)
    • Starting from $161 for travel from December – February 2020
  9. jetBlue Airways from Boston, MA to Chicaco, IL (e.g. 11/09-11/12)
    • Starting from $97 for travel until early November
  10. jetBlue Airways Portland, OR to Philadelphia, PA (e.g. 10/29-11/05)
    • Starting from $264 for travel in late October
  11. Southwest Airlines from Phoenix, AZ to Seattle, WA (e.g. 10/23-10/29)
    • Starting from $134 for travel from October – early December
  12. Delta Airlines from Portland, OR to Denver, CO (e.g. 10/2-10/7)
    • Starting from $174 for travel until early December.

International Flights

  1. American Airlines from Los Angeles, CA to Beijing, China (e.g. 11/01-11/08)
    • Starting from $305 for travel until November
  2. Delta Airlines from Washington, DC to Mumbai, India (e.g. 02/10 – 02/17)
    • Starting from $633  for travel from February 2020 – April 2020
  3. Royal Jordanian Airlines from Chicago, IL to Tel Aviv, Israel (e.g. 01/13 – 01/20)
    • Starting from $649 for travel from November – early December or January – February
  4. American Airlines from Dallas, TX to Barcelona, Spain (e.g. 01/22/2020 – 01/29/2020)
    • Starting from $494 for travel from January 2020 – February 2020
  5. United Airlines from Houston, TX to Bangkok, Thailand (e.g. 12/4/-12/11)
    • Starting from $536 for travel from September – October & December – April.
  6. American Airlines from Washington, DC to Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago (e.g. 02/5/20-02/12/20)
    • Starting from $366 for travel from October – June
  7. United Airlines from San Jose, CA to Bangkok, Thailand (e.g. 02/26/20-03/4/20)
    • Starting from $516 for travel from December – April.
  8. American Airlines from Miami, FL to Curacao (e.g. 11/11-11/14)
    • Starting from $314 for travel from November to August 2020
  9. Delta Airlines from Columbus, OH to Belize City, Belize (e.g. 10/30-11/06)
    • Starting from $286 for travel from October – November
  10. Avianca from Miami, FL to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (e.g. 10/29-11/05)
    • Starting from $477 for travel from October – November

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to save on your next adventure or business trip, this is the place to check! We are committed to find the best prices for you and save you time on your search, so you can enjoy without having to worry about the costs. We update this post throughout the day, so check back on us to see if your dream vacation is about to take flight. Make sure to take advantage of the deals that you’re interested in because they won’t last long.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more flight deals because we have hot, fresh deals every day! Additionally, if you’re also part of a loyalty program, we update our points, miles, and bonuses list for great offers every month to earn you the extra points and miles you need for your next trip! In short, for more options, see our list of the latest Expedia Promotions!

Finally, for more top deals like this, check out our top hot deals & top freebies for the day!

Priceline Orbitz

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