Matt's Feed
Aug 14, 2012

Analysis: Heavy debts set China solar makers up for consolidation

By Matt Daily

(Reuters) – As solar panel prices continue to march lower, Chinese solar companies are struggling with heavy debt loads, triggering expectations many will be forced to seek a new infusion of funds through takeovers or mergers.

Suntech Power Holdings (STP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could be liable for hundreds of millions in new payments after it disclosed a potential fraud by a partner, while peers such as LDK Solar (LDK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), JA Solar Holdings Co (JASO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Trina Solar (TSL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co (YGE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are also feeling pressure.

Aug 2, 2012

Analysis – Suntech funding prospects darken after fraud disclosure

By Matt Daily and Lawrence White

(Reuters) – China’s Suntech Power Holdings (STP.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s biggest solar panel maker but facing an acute financing shortfall, saw its funding prospects darken further after it disclosed this week it had probably been defrauded.

The company was already struggling with fast-dropping solar panel prices, new U.S. import duties and the threat of trade barriers in Europe. It needs to raise over half a billion dollars by next March to refinance maturing debt, but after discovering that bonds used as collateral for new solar projects were apparently fake, that task has become much harder.

Jul 31, 2012

Valero to split off retail arm, profits rise

By Matt Daily and Anna Driver

(Reuters) – Refining company Valero Corp (VLO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday posted a higher quarterly profit that topped expectations and said it would split off its retail business, lifting its shares 6 percent.

The company, which owns retail stations in the United States and Canada, said it is considering different methods for the split, including a spin-off that would give its shareholders ownership in the retail business.

Jul 27, 2012

Cheap U.S. natgas a double-edged sword for company earnings

July 27 (Reuters) – The glut of shale gas in the United
States has been a double-edged sword for earnings this week,
cutting into profit for producers such as Exxon Mobil and
Chevron, but benefiting chemicals makers and power producers.

U.S. natural gas prices tumbled to their lowest in a decade
during the second quarter as output from vast new shale rock
fields overwhelmed demand.

Jul 27, 2012

Chevron profit slips, but refineries shine

By Braden Reddall and Matt Daily

(Reuters) – Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) profit fell 7 percent in the second quarter as oil prices weakened, the No. 2 U.S. oil company said on Friday, and oil and gas output will fall short this year, but margins are strong for the smaller refining business.

Like larger rival Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Chevron did face weak prices for U.S. natural gas prices. But Chevron is far less reliant on it, with just 5 percent of its reserves in North American gas, compared with 18 percent for Exxon.

Jul 26, 2012

Exxon Mobil output, chemicals unit dampen earnings

By Anna Driver and Matt Daily

(Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, posted lower-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday as its oil and gas output sagged and weak margins hurt its chemicals business.

Weaker global oil prices have weighed on earnings across the sector and Exxon also felt the sting of decade-low U.S. natural gas prices, especially in the United States where it is the largest producer of the fuel.

Jul 25, 2012

ConocoPhillips, Hess raise 2012 spending plans

By Anna Driver and Matt Daily

(Reuters) – Lower oil prices shrank quarterly profits at ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Hess Corp (HES.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and both companies raised their 2012 spending plans in a bid to increase crude production.

Global oil prices weakened in the second quarter as tensions in the Middle East around Iran eased and the economic outlook soured, but prices have rebounded a bit in July.

Jul 25, 2012

ConocoPhillips, Hess profits drop as oil prices weaken

July 25 (Reuters) – Lower oil prices hurt quarterly profits
at ConocoPhillips and Hess Corp, but both
companies beat Wall Street forecasts.

Conoco, reporting earnings for the first time since shedding
its refining and chemicals businesses, saw its oil and gas
output slip below its full-year production goal as asset sales,
maintenance and curtailed gas production weighed. But the
company said its new projects were coming on line as planned.

Jul 23, 2012

Halliburton Q2 tops Wall Street; sees better North America in ’13

By Matt Daily and Braden Reddall

(Reuters) – Halliburton Co (HAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a quarterly profit on Monday that topped Wall Street forecasts, helped by increased activity outside North America, where it expected margins would start recovering by early next year.

Shares of Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oilfield services company behind Schlumberger (SLB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), rose 2.5 percent despite a decline in oil prices weighing down the sector .

Jul 23, 2012

Halliburton Q2 tops Wall St; sees better NAmerica in ’13

July 23 (Reuters) – Halliburton Co posted a
quarterly profit on Monday that topped Wall Street forecasts,
helped by increased activity outside North America, where it
expected margins would start recovering by early next year.

Shares of Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oilfield
services company behind Schlumberger, rose 2.5 percent
despite a decline in oil prices weighing down the sector.

    • About Matt

      "Matt is the Team Leader for the Raw Materials Group and is based in New York. He has worked in Reuters' bureaus in New York, Houston and Amsterdam."
    • Follow Matt