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Many IT departments have applied software solutions that go past standard transaction and analytical processing. These applications contain fashions that describe definite information behaviors, and these models consume current information to see if these patterns of statistics habits exist. in that case, operational programs can use this tips to make decisions. a fine illustration of this is fraud detection. IT information engineers use analytics on ancient information to check when fraud befell, code this right into a mannequin, and set up the model as a provider. Then, any operational device can invoke the model, flow it latest information and receive a mannequin “rating” that represents the chance that a transaction can be fraudulent.
The customary term for these new packages is synthetic intelligence (AI). They consist of a mixture of search, optimization and analytics algorithms, statistical evaluation innovations and template approaches for ingesting data, executing these ideas and making the consequences available as services known as fashions. The subset of AI that deals with model advent and implementation is every so often known as laptop researching (ML).laptop gaining knowledge of and synthetic Intelligence
IT departments enforce ML and AI options in the broader context of their facts and processing footprint. here is usually depicted as the following four-layer hierarchy.
Layer 1: The facts.
this accretion includes the data disbursed throughout the commercial enterprise. It includes mainframe and disbursed information similar to product and income databases, transactional facts and analytical facts in the information warehouse and any huge records functions. It also can also encompass client, dealer and corporation records, perhaps at far flung websites, and even extends to public statistics equivalent to twitter, information feeds and survey effects. yet another viable source of information is server efficiency logs that include resource usage historical past.
notice that these facts exist throughout distinct hardware platforms including on-premises and cloud-based mostly. As such, a lot of facts aspects can exist in diverse forms and formats (e.g. text, ASCII, EBCDIC, UTF-eight, XML, pictures, audio clips, and so forth.). furthermore, at this degree will exist hardware and utility that manage the statistics, including excessive-speed statistics loaders, facts purge and archive approaches, post-and-subscribe processes for statistics replication, in addition to these for standard backup and recovery and disaster restoration planning.
Layer 2: The Analytics Engines.
in this layer exist a mixture of hardware and utility that executes business analytics towards the statistics layer. There are several usual avid gamers during this space. They include:
just because the records layer happens across diverse hardware systems and allotted sites, so will the analytics engines layer. The important function of this sediment is to provide an optimized data entry layer towards the underlying information as a service for AI and operational functions.
Layer three: The desktop learning Platform.
IT implements machine discovering application in this layer. It accesses the records through one or extra of the analytics engines. it's in this layer that IBM gives you its newest providing, Watson desktop researching for z/OS (WMLz). WMLz gives a primary desktop learning workflow together with here steps:
statistics scientists know that one of the vital most reliable advantages of computing device studying is to use the consequences in operational systems; for example, having an ML model analyze financial records to check the chance of fraud. This means that you'll achieve most reliable efficiency if you set up ML in the hardware environment where transaction processing happens. for a lot of giant agencies this potential the IBM zServer atmosphere.
Layer four: machine getting to know solutions.
Now that we've the computer learning platform attainable as ML capabilities, we will create mixed AI/ML options that invoke these services. IBM has a few in a position-made solutions for this accretion, including the following:
Let’s take a deeper dive into how Watson machine gaining knowledge of on Z (WMLz) works and what services it might provide.
Key efficiency symptoms (KPIs). WMLz doesn't inherently know what efficiency factors are important to you. despite the fact, once these KPIs are described (either by means of a consumer or by implementing one of the computer researching solutions noted above), WMLz can analyze KPI data to look for correlations. for instance, when one KPI (say, I/O against a important database) goes up, a further KPI (say CPU usage) may additionally go up as neatly. As yet another illustration, a few KPIs could be behaviorally equivalent, so WMLz can cluster them as a gaggle and operate extra evaluation throughout agencies. WMLz can additionally investigate KPI baseline behaviors in line with time-of-day, time zone of transactions or seasonal recreation.
Anomaly Detection. as soon as correlations are found, WMLz can seem to be contrary outcomes and record them as anomalies. In our I/O illustration above, an anomaly would be said if I/O against a important database increased but CPU utilization reduced.
pattern recognition. As with many laptop getting to know engines, WMLz will search for patterns amongst KPIs and information identifiers. as an instance, CPU may additionally enhance when processing certain classes of transactions.
KPI prediction. An extension of primary KPI processing, WMLz can use the previous behaviors of groups of KPIs to foretell the future. accept as true with our I/O instance once once again. The product may notice that certain transactions turn into more a lot of throughout a specific time period, and these transactions eat significantly greater CPU cycles. The product may additionally then predict future CPU spikes.
Batch workload evaluation. Many IT retail outlets have a large contingent of batch processing this is tightly scheduled and includes job and aid dependencies. Some jobs need to wait for his or her predecessors to complete, some use giant shared supplies (akin to tape drives or uniqueness hardware) and some are so useful resource-intensive that then can not be achieved at the same time. WMLz can analyze the workload records, together with aid usage, and provide strategies for balancing supplies or tuning elapsed instances.
MLC cost sample analysis and value discount. Some IBM application license fees are billed monthly, and the license amount may also rely upon maximum CPU usage all the way through peak periods. WMLz can analyze CPU usage across time, look for patterns and make predictions and suggestions for software license charge discount.Watson machine discovering for z/OS — points
IBM’s Watson machine discovering for z/OS allows for IT its option of construction environments to improve models together with IBM SPSS Modeler. These environments support records scientists by using notebooks, statistics visualization tools and wizards to pace the construction system. a number of brief-beginning software templates are additionally integrated within the toolset for normal enterprise necessities corresponding to fraud detection, load approval and IT operational analytics. The latest edition of WMLz (version 2.1.0) includes assist for Ubuntu Linux on Z, java APIs, simplified Python package management and several different aspects.
involved readers should reference the hyperlinks below for greater unique technical advice.
# # #
See all articles by Lockwood LyonREFERENCES
desktop gaining knowledge of and synthetic Intelligencehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_learning
facts and AI on IBM Zhttps://www.ibm.com/analytics/z-analytics
the usage of Anaconda with Spark — Anaconda 2.0 documentationhttps://doctors.anaconda.com/anaconda-scale/spark/
Watson machine discovering - Overviewhttps://www.ibm.com/cloud/laptop-discovering
Watson machine gaining knowledge of - Resourceshttps://www.ibm.com/cloud/machine-discovering/resources
The next time you name an 800 number with a gripe a couple of product or service, consider this: notwithstanding it’s a real are living adult who solutions, she or he could not be the one finding out the way to contend with you. instead, a fancy series of algorithms may additionally step in, to gauge your temper and react hence. One version of IBM’s interactive know-how Watson Assistant immediately analyzes your tone of voice. Then, in accordance with exactly how peeved you sound, the system suggests what the service rep should still present as a repair for something your issue is—a refund, for instance, or free shipping on your subsequent order—with the aim of conserving on to your enterprise.
wondering why a human CSR can’t just deal with this conversation? “individuals interpret tones of voice in a different way, in order that they reply differently to customers,” explains IBM consultant Aman Kochhar. by contrast, he adds, “A.I. is not subjective. So it’s a great deal greater constant.”
Kochhar has been researching to follow synthetic intelligence to enterprise issues in view that closing December, when he begun taking A.I. classes as part of the first phase of a gigantic new practicing push interior IBM. known as AI expertise Academy (AISA), the software is designed to do two issues. First, it teaches employees about integrating A.I. into their personal jobs inside the company, from developing advertising apps to improving supply chain efficiency. on the identical time, AISA educates IBMers in consulting, income, operations, and somewhere else a way to collaborate with consumers to make use of A.I. of their businesses, too. Divided into two tracks—one for techies (software developers, engineers, analysis scientists) and one for everybody else—the curriculum has 4 degrees, from primary to skilled.
greater than 2,200 IBM staffers have begun the practicing considering that it launched closing year, and IBM expects as a minimum four,000 graduates of all four degrees in 2019. however, says IBM vp for skill Obed Louissant, that’s just for openers: “All of our employees will at last be informed in A.I.” additionally, AISA continually provides new content. within the works presently: New lessons on utilising A.I. in assignment management and commonplace administration roles.
in a single experience, it’s handiest logical that IBM is investing big chunks of its $500 million annual practising finances in AISA. in any case, “we construct these A.I. technologies,” notes Louissant. “So we've a responsibility to train americans the way to use them, each inside and out of doors the enterprise.”
okay, but AISA also obviously does anything else — to wit, it makes IBM’s 350,000 employees worldwide a lot more beautiful to other employers. As more corporations count greater closely on statistics analytics, and extra jobs demand a working expertise of A.I., Gartner predicts 2.3 million new roles worldwide on the way to require these talents by using the end of subsequent year.
For IBM, AISA is a calculated possibility. On the one hand, the enterprise has no actual choice but to educate its workforce in A.I. but nevertheless, helping employees develop precisely the expertise most admired within the backyard world right now seems dicey. “We did believe a whole lot about this as we developed the application,” Louissant says, adding wryly, “We were concerned from the outset about even if we’d be making a public provider.”
it could figure out that manner, but for now, Louissant thinks most graduates of IBM’s program will need to stick round. He aspects to the undeniable fact that, among the roughly 800 individuals who've already accomplished AISA training—and who are therefore much more marketable than they were a 12 months in the past—attrition, up to now, is reduce than for IBM’s body of workers average.
It’s early days yet, of route, but that tiny attrition fee may be a reflection of what employees said, in certain surveys, about what motivates and engages them. even more than money, which of course opponents can present too, IBMers say they’re “most interested in maintaining with the cutting edge in expertise and perpetually researching new potential,” says Louissant. “So providing them new working towards is a retention approach.” in this era of persistent (and, it appears, multiplying) knowledge gaps, that’s a suggestion price wondering.
Anne Fisher is a profession expert and counsel columnist who writes “Work It Out,” Fortune’s guide to working and residing within the 21st century. each week, she’ll reply your most difficult profession questions. Have one? Ask her on Twitter or e mail her at email@example.com.
The IBM midrange group has a recognition for maintaining the repute quo. however that doesn’t mean it’s immune to alternate. Shifts within the economy, the increasing pressures from company managers to do more with much less, and the awareness that aggressive knowledge comes with modernization combine to disrupt reputation quo thinkers. but does it in reality? facts that pertain to IBM i retail outlets are practically non-existent. a new stack of tips coming from a survey conducted by using HelpSystems adjustments that.
The complete outcomes of the survey have yet to be made public. but I’ve learned a few issues that are brilliant. as an example:
About sixty three % of the IBM i groups during this survey are working the 7.1 version of the operating device. And 24 p.c are at 6.1. combined the overall is 87 %, which leaves most effective single-digit percentages for 7.2, V5R3, and the early releases.
IBM i 6.1 and 7.1 dominate because the most frequent models of the operating gadget, in line with the survey outcomes.
suit these numbers with these:
Of the survey takers, 38 percent use a single vigor systems server to run their businesses, and 50 percent pointed out that they had between two and five IBM i techniques carrying the workloads. My arithmetic expertise lead me to the conclusion that 88 % of all survey takers fit into the 5-servers-or-less category. Then component into those numbers diverse IBM i partition getting used through sixty two percent of the survey community.
IBM i retail outlets with between two and five servers outnumbered retail outlets with most effective a single server in response to survey responses.
in accordance with what you know to date, would you wager there's a superior variety of participating agencies with fewer than 1,000 employees or a more desirable quantity with greater than 1,000 employees?
The survey identifies pretty much 60 p.c in the smaller staff category and that leaves forty percent within the 1,000-employees-and-up class.
software modernization tops the record of “considerations” for all participating corporations, with fifty nine p.c checking that container. 2nd on the record of concerns is excessive availability. Third is the dwindling group of workers with IBM i knowledge.
here is just the tip of the iceberg. And what i can share today is pretty basic stuff, even though it provides color to an otherwise blurry photo of what the IBM i group seems like.
When the complete report is launched in March, it is going to include particulars that extend the facts. for instance, there may be information concerning using partitions that can also be compared with the server records mentioned above. And along with that might be data concerning moving servers to off-web page areas and tended to my managed provider providers.
other survey questions dip into issues corresponding to company intelligence and facts analytics, tape backup and catastrophe restoration, the frequency of AIX and Linux on the same power Server as IBM i and on other servers in the IT branch.
The degree of self assurance that may still be positioned during this survey falls wanting 100%. exhibit me a survey that's irrefutable and i’ll display you a superior gold nugget (or accuse you of selling swamp land in Florida). however, on the very least, this puts handles on a pot filled with subjects that have relied on most useful guesses and hoped for outcomes.
the majority of this facts become accumulated in September and October 2014. HelpSystems inspired participation by using sending emails to a listing of its valued clientele and possibilities. if you're an avid reader of The 4 Hundred, you’ll keep in mind an article titled “searching for IBM i solutions” that additionally inspired the IBM i neighborhood to participate in this survey.
IT Jungle and PowerWire participated in the construction of the survey and are featuring unique insurance of the consequences.
the entire variety of surveys gathered and tabulated became 350, with all but 52 of those coming from North the usa.
I see this preliminary survey as a baseline for measuring shifts with endured measurements sooner or later. traits are complex to establish with out a foundation. You need to be aware of where you begun to understand how a ways you’ve come. This lays the groundwork for additional surveys, analysis, and reporting.
on its own, as single reference, it gives information from which critiques may also be made. It reveals fees of pride/dissatisfaction and the incidence/scarcity of specific products and applied sciences.
It can be a useful gizmo to assist assist or validate IT tactics and approach and used to discover tendencies that in any other case would have long past overlooked.
notion management and trusted consultant is totally desired status that HelpSystems hopes to achieve by taking up this project. It has proved to be positive in the past as PowerTech, a HelpSystems enterprise, has produced a State of IBM i protection file for 10 years.
This survey and the white paper HelpSystems plans to unlock in March add substantiation to company/know-how initiatives which are infrequently quantified with the aid of IBM or contributors of the IBM i ISV group.
IT Jungle plans to put up more particulars of this survey and analysis of certain subject matter areas as that suggestions turns into obtainable.
To obtain a duplicate of the survey and a white paper authored by using HelpSystems’ vice chairman of technical services Tom Huntington, follow this hyperlink and fill out a web kind with your contact information.
beneath New CEO, HelpSystems Snaps Up Rival Halcyon
looking for IBM i solutions
HelpSystems Grows With RJS And Coglin Mill Acquisitions
State Of IBM i security? Dismal As standard, PowerTech Says
the most noted IBM i traits And know-how
assist/systems Buys Dartware To build Out Heterogeneous Monitoring
aid/methods Buys exhibit BI items from IBM
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(MENAFN - Newsfile Corp) Madalena Announces 2018 Year-End Financial Results and Q1 - 2019 Operational Update (All dollar figures are expressed in United States dollars unless otherwise stated)
Buenos Aires, Argentina--(Newsfile Corp. - April 9, 2019) - Madalena Energy Inc. (TSXV: MVN) (OTCQX: MDLNF) ("Madalena" or the "Company") announces its operating and financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018.
Madalena's CEO Jose Penafiel commented: "I am very pleased to announce Madalena achieved its first quarter of positive earnings during the fourth quarter of 2018, which I view as a clear indication that the hard work that our team has been doing is yielding a positive result for our bottom line.
Unfortunately, our timing expectations for drilling activity on our non-operated blocks have not been met, but we remain very excited about the likelihood of that work starting over coming months and we are pleased with positive results from the management of our conventional operated assets at Palmar Largo and Surubi."
As previously announced, the Company plans to hold an investor conference call to discuss the Company's operating and 2018 annual financial results on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. MDT (10:00 a.m. EDT). Analysts and investors are invited to participate using the following dial-in numbers:
Local Dial-in Number: (+1) 587 880 2171
Toll Free Dial-in Number North America: (+1) 888 390 0546
Toll Free Dial-in Number United Kingdom: 08006522435
Toll Free Dial-in Number Argentina: 08004448221
Selected information is outlined below and should be read in conjunction with Madalena's audited consolidated financial statements for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the associated management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") and the Annual Information Form (the "AIF") for the year ended December 31, 2018, which are available for review under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website at www.madalenaenergy.com .
SUMMARY FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL RESULTSThree months ended Twelve months ended December 31 December 31 2018 2017 2018 2017 Financial - ($000s, except per share amounts)
Oil and gas revenue 7,822 7,804 33,337 34,334 Funds flow from (used in) continuing operations(1)(190 )1,630
(2,096 ) Per share - basic & diluted(1) - - - - Net income (loss) - continuing operations 3,236 (19,386 ) (3,172 ) (33,796 ) Per share - basic & diluted(1) 0.01 (0.03 ) (0.01 ) (0.06 ) Capital expenditures 680 2,601 5,517 3,749 Working capital (deficiency) (691 ) (1,043 ) (691 ) (1,043 ) Common shares outstanding - 000s 544,060 543,860 544,060 543,860 Operating Average Daily Sales Crude oil and Ngls - Bbls/d 1,505 1,588 1,534 1,782 Natural gas - Mcf/d 1,478 1,702 1,436 1,894 Total - Boe /d 1,751 1,872 1,774 2,098 Average Sales Prices Crude oil and Ngls - $/Bbl 56.50 53.41 59.52 52.79 Natural gas - $/Mcf 4.90 5.09 5.41 5.57 Total - $/Boe 52.69 49.95 55.87 49.88 Operating Netbacks(2) - $/Boe 8.59 5.95 16.47 9.77
(1) This table contains the term "funds flow from continuing operations", which is a non-GAAP measure and should not be considered an alternative to, or more meaningful than "cash flows from operating activities " as determined in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") as an indicator of the Company's performance. Funds flow from operations and funds flow from operations per share (basic and diluted) do not have any standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS and may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures for other entities. Management uses funds flow from continuing operations to analyze operating performance and considers funds flow from continuing operations to be a key measure as it demonstrates the Company's ability to generate the cash necessary to fund future capital investment. The reconciliation between funds flow from continuing operations and cash flows from operating activities can be found in the MD&A. Funds flow from continuing operations per share is calculated using the basic and diluted weighted average number of shares for the period, consistent with the calculations of earnings (loss) per share.
(2) Operating netback is a non-GAAP measure calculated as the average per boe of the Company's oil and gas sales, less royalties and operating costs.
Q1 - 2019 OPERATIONS UPDATE
Q1 2019 production was approximately 1,960 barrels of oil equivalent ("boe/d") (87% crude oil) before royalties, an increase of 13% from 1,730 boe/d in the prior quarter (86% crude oil). A significant increase from the prior quarter was driven by the signing of a new operation agreement giving Madalena a 100% interest in production from the Palmar Largo concession starting December 1 (as previously announced on November 27, 2018).
Madalena's first quarter average oil sales price was approximately $47.91 per barrel (representing 75% of the Brent oil price of $63.83 per barrel), as compared with the fourth quarter 2018 average price of $56.50 per barrel (representing 82% of the Brent oil price of $68.60 per barrel).
The first quarter average NGLs and gas sales price was approximately $4.40 per Mcf, as compared with the fourth quarter 2018 average price of $4.90 per Mcf.
Palmar Largo and El Surubi
A workover was completed on the Proa-3 light oil well (Surubí, 85% operated interest) during the first quarter of 2019. The Corporation evaluated synergies with the recently acquired adjacent Palmar Largo block (100% operated) and completed a workover in this block using the same rig. Another workover is planned. The company is still testing the wells' production capabilities, but increased production from these wells is expected to offset natural declines from other wells.
Coiron Amargo Sur Este (CASE); 35% non-operated
The Corporation announced on February 26, 2019 that it expected a 4-well drilling program in CASE to commence before the end of Q1/19. The commencement of this drilling program has been slightly delayed and the Corporation will provide updated guidance when confirmation is provided by the operator on a new timeline.
As previously described, well locations have been selected to confirm and improve on the results obtained from two previously drilled and completed wells, as well as to further delineate the continuity of productive potential in the Vaca Muerta across specific targeted areas of the CASE block.
Coiron Amargo Norte (CAN); 35% non-operated
Management's previously announced expectations for a new well targeting the Lotena Formation to be spud this year remain, but a firm spud date has not been set yet by the operator of the block.
As previously announced on February 26, Madalena's average 2019 production guidance for 2019 is 2,600-3,000 BOE/d, representing growth in average annual production of 45-68% from the 2018 average of 1,790 BOE/d. The company is targeting to exit 2019 with a production rate of 2,700-3,500 BOE/d, which implies production increasing by 56% or more from the previously reported Q4/18 average of 1,730 BOE/d.
With the start-up of drilling activities now likely to occur later than previously expected at both non-operated Coiron Amargo (CAN and CASE) blocks, and exact timing of drilling still not defined, the Company's management sees a growing risk that our production will be at the lower end of this guidance range. However, offsetting this slightly are positive results from our work-over and reservoir management activities at our operated Noroeste Basin assets (Palmar Largo and Surubi).
Upcoming News Events
We expect to announce the Company's Q1 2019 financial results in May 2019, and our Q2 2019 operations update in July 2019.
About Madalena Energy
Madalena is an independent upstream oil and gas company with both conventional and unconventional oil and gas operations in Argentina.
Madalena trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol MVN and on the OTCQX under the symbol MDLNF.
For further information please contact:
Jose David PenafielChief Executive OfficerE-mail: .Phone: (403) 262-1901
Ezequiel Martinez ArietChief Financial OfficerE-mail: .Phone: (403) 262-1901
Forward Looking Information
The information in this news release contains certain forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events, forecasts and projections or our future performance, in particular, but not limited to, expectations with respect to Madalena's 2019 capital budget, the characteristics of the properties held by the Company, production levels, the strategic value and opportunities available to Madalena, operational, business development and financial plans including Madalena's drilling and workover plans specifically referred to herein and the expected timing in connection therewith and the Company's ability to meet its commitments and continue as a going concern. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "approximate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe", "would" and similar expressions. These statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the Company's control, including: risks relating to obtaining capital for funding operations on favorable terms or at all,, the impact of general economic conditions; industry conditions; changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced; fluctuations in commodity prices and foreign exchange and interest rates; stock market volatility and market valuations; volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas; liabilities inherent in oil and natural gas operations; uncertainties associated with estimating oil and natural gas reserves; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions, of reserves, undeveloped lands and skilled personnel; incorrect assessments of the value of acquisitions; changes in income tax laws or changes in tax laws and incentive programs relating to the oil and gas industry; geological, technical, drilling and processing problems and other difficulties in producing petroleum reserves; and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. The Company's actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur or, if any of them do, what benefits the Company will derive from them. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and may be based on assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. Investors are encouraged to review and consider the additional risk factors set forth in the Company's Annual Information Form, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com .
Certain financial measures in this document do not have a standardized meaning as prescribed by IFRS, such as funds flow from operations, from operations per share (basic and diluted), and operating netbacks and therefore are considered non-GAAP measures. These measures may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. These measures have been described and presented in order to provide shareholders and potential investors with additional measures for analyzing the Company's ability to generate funds to finance its operations and information regarding its liquidity. The additional information should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures prepared in accordance with IFRS. The definition and/or reconciliation of each non-GAAP measure is presented in the "Netbacks" and "Reconciliation of Cash Flow from Operating Activities and Funds Flow from Continuing Operations" sections of the Company's MD&A of equal date of this press release, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com .
Funds flow from continuing operations per share is calculated using the same basic and diluted weighted average number of shares for the period, consistent with the calculations of loss per share.
Operating netback is calculated as the average per boe of the Company's oil and gas sales, less royalties and operating costs.
Meaning of Boe
The term "boe" or barrels of oil equivalent may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel of oil equivalent (6 Mcf: 1 bbl) is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. Additionally, given that the value ratio based on the current price of crude oil, as compared to natural gas, is significantly different from the energy equivalency of 6:1; utilizing a conversion ratio of 6:1 may be misleading as an indication of value.
Well Test Results
Well test results should be considered as preliminary and not necessarily indicative of long-term performance or of ultimate recovery. Neither a pressure transient analysis nor a well-test interpretation has been carried out on the well test data contained herein and therefore the data contained herein should be considered to be preliminary until such analysis or interpretation has been done.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/43989
Copyright © 2000 MENAFN. All rights reserved.
Design & Devleopment by MENAFN
Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach speaks to the media after losing to the Virginia Cavaliers in the national championship game on Monday, April 9, 2019. By× Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach speaks to the media after losing to the Virginia Cavaliers in the national championship game on Monday, April 9, 2019. By
Hello friends, and thank you for your time here over the years. It means the world to me. I hope you’d agree that this has always been a you-focused space. You ask the questions, the answer monkey dances. That’s the way it has always been and that’s the way it will always be, but I need a few paragraphs right now to get something out.
We’ve gone too far with replay.
We’ve gone too far in football. We’ve gone too far in baseball. And we’ve now sure as shoot gone way too far in basketball.
For as long as basketball has existed this is Texas Tech’s ball:
But now we are so married to technology and so terrified of some twerp saying Well Actually that we break these things down frame by frame like a Zapruder film to make a call that has never been made.
That ball was deflected out of bounds by the Virginia player. That it barely-maybe-only-if-you-go-super-slow-mo-at-the-right-angle grazed the bottom of the Texas Tech player’s finger has been inconsequential since the beginning of time.
If this happened in a pickup game and the Virginia player claimed it was his ball, the game would be over. There would be a riot. Punches would fly.
This is not throwing the ball off the opponent’s leg out of bounds. This is a common basketball play that has now been completely redone. This is a man stealing a base clean, but being called out after 3 minutes because the replay showed his foot came off the bag for 0.000001 seconds on the slide.
This is too much technology and not enough common sense. This is basic Spirit Of The Rule stuff here, and in a world in which there are already WAY too many long stoppages we’ve just invited more.
You would need to look hard to find someone more pro technology than me. These advancements have made our games more enjoyable to watch (on OLED screens), easier to understand (with tools like NFL’s Game Pass) and more interesting to analyze (FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference, Pro Football Focus, etc).
But we have to be the ones using the technology, and not allowing the technology to chew up our games.
Instant replay was adopted to correct obvious mistakes of the naked eye. It was never intended to create new calls that the naked eye never could have seen.
This is not an argument that the referees or stretched-past-the-point-of-recognition replay usage cost Texas Tech last night’s national championship game*. There are too many plays in a game, and besides, the officials were generally pretty good.
*Though on the previous play, Tech was whistled for a foul when a Virginia player accidentally tripped a teammate.
This is an argument about keeping games as enjoyable and fair and flowing as possible, about not breaking for 2 minutes every time someone in the arena disagrees with a call. Mostly, this is an argument to keep basic rules and calls in place, the same way we’ve enjoyed for decades, and not let our games be hijacked by frame-by-frame analysis.
This isn’t a fluke, either. Isn’t one minor misuse blown out of proportion because of the stage.
After all, the NFL just made non-calls reviewable.
This week’s eating recommendation is the Summit burger at Westside Local and the reading recommendation is Tyler Kepner’s delightfully nerdy K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches.
Please give me a follow on Twitter and Facebook and as always thanks for your help and thanks for reading.
Might? I guess? Maybe? In the sure-why-not-anything-is-possible way?
Look: right now they stink. They are 2-7 with a schedule heavy on AL Central teams that are not the Indians. That is really bad. If the Royals have any chance to compete this year* it is by hoarding wins in a weak division. This isn’t that.
*And, let’s be honest: they do only in the sure-why-not-anything-is-possible way.
I do not believe the Royals will be worse than last year, and will make a $100 charity donation bet with the first person willing to take the over on 104 losses.
A full season of Adalberto Mondesi, for one. Jorge Soler will probably play more than 61 games. Brad Keller is a full-time starter now. Those are the Royals’ three highest ceiling players, each in position to better impact the big league team.
I would also point out that the team has played better than the record. We can talk a lot about the atrocious bullpen, and we will, but the offense and defense and starting pitching have been worthy of a much better record.
The Royals are eighth in runs. Their starting pitchers are 10th with a 4.70 ERA.
The bullpen has an 8.89 ERA and is giving up a .319/.458/.487 slash line.
If you believe the bullpen really is this bad, then sure, the Royals are cooked. More than 100 losses would be a safe bet.
But if you believe that no bullpen can really be this bad, and not just because the Royals have a few arms in the minors, then things will start to level out.
I happen to believe that the Royals have a below average bullpen that’s performing poorly, in part because there are no defined roles, but that more productive days are ahead.
Of course, I also didn’t think they’d lose 100 games last year.
If you think I’m going to be wrong again, and that this team will really be worse than last year, be the first to tweet at me saying “bet.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City could use the help.
It was not lost on some in the organization that a total of 20,599 fans watched the two games against the Twins last week. Last night, just 10,259 bought tickets on a beautiful night.
I believe that this, as much as anything, is why the Royals will heavily consider moving downtown. But that’s a different discussion for a different day.
Right now, the point you’re making is an excellent one.
Attendance always rises when school is out, and the weather hasn’t been great. Without double checking, I assume the TV numbers are still strong.
But fan interest is often shorthanded by attendance figures, and attendance figures heavily influence revenues, which heavily influence payrolls, so this is a relevant topic.
In my often stupid opinion, the Royals have been too concerned with eyewash. They have often seemed to operate with the goal of appearing competitive in the years they know they are unlikely to be genuinely competitive.
It’s a bit of an ongoing conversation with a few members of the front office, but I’ve never written extensively about it for a few reasons. First, I admire the other approach. Teams should want to win every year, and should care about what the product looks like to fans spending their time and money. Second, one-third of baseball teams make some form of the postseason now, so the standards for dreaming are lower.
But if you’re going to go that route then you should be able to avoid 104-loss seasons, and you better be able to keep sincere hope alive into the summer.
I say this without malice or end zone dancing. The men who put the Royals together care deeply about this stuff, but another season being torpedoed before Cinco de Mayo would be an inexplicable whiff by everyone in baseball operations.
This team has the pieces of an interesting team. Adalberto Mondesi is a rare gift — an elite talent who might be turning into a star. Brad Keller is emerging. Whit Merrifield is amazingly consistent and stubbornly productive. Jakob Junis, Hunter Dozier, Jorge Soler, Ryan O’Hearn — there are a lot of pieces here.
All of that may or may not make 2021 better.
But none of it matters for right now if the Royals are 17-35 on Memorial Day.
I don’t know if I can, but I know I won’t.
Look. I know I’m interested. I know I want to watch Adalberto Mondesi and Brad Keller and Whit Merrifield and Ryan O’Hearn and others. My summers have always been filled with baseball, and I’ll have lived a good life if that’s always true.
I also recognize that I am a sports columnist at the local paper, so I can’t say with any degree of certainty whether I’d care about the Royals if I had a real job.
We all have stresses and priorities and stuff to do and, well, let’s just play this out. If you tune out the team now and the rebuild clicks and 2021 is the year they contend you’ll have a heads up. They’ll be in first place in June, or a two games out in August, and you’ll get back into it.
You’ll watch and you’ll read and you’ll talk to your friends and will you have missed all that much?
Probably not. You won’t feel the same pride the way you would if you watched every game between then and now. You wouldn’t be able to remember the homer Mondesi hit (or, if we’re being honest, the walk he took) that convinced you it was happening.
You wouldn’t remember Brady Singer’s debut, or the debate around this summer’s No. 2 pick, or how you felt when you realized Martin Maldonado was actually better defensively than Sal Perez* and how that might change the team’s immediate future.
*I’m actually not joking here.
So, you’ll miss something. You’ll miss the silly stubborn pride of being able to tell people you saw the whole thing happen, but at some point, what are we talking about here?
You won’t miss the playoff game.
Also: you know the best and most time efficient way to make sure you don’t miss anything?
Continue to read the local paper!
The decision on signing Lucas Duda to a one-year deal and dumping four years of club control on Brian Goodwin was hard to understand at the time and somehow even worse right now.
The disclaimers can be offered here. It’s still so early. In the NFL analogy, we’re in the third quarter of the season opener. Brian Goodwin is unlikely to hit .391 over a full season.
But there was no obvious reason to do this. Goodwin could be playing right field, which would mean Merrifield could be playing second, and there is no question that would make a better lineup than what the Royals are left with.
Dayton Moore talked about Duda’s professionalism, and reliable plate appearances, and I don’t want to minimize the point. There are so many holes in the Royals lineup. Duda has shown himself to be somewhere between solid and good as a hitter for most of his career. If he took some pressure off O’Hearn or Schwindel at times, well, that’s not a terrible thing.
But this always felt like the Royals overthinking things. O’Hearn has an extreme platoon split, an issue that was already diminished with Schwindel. The Royals have been unsure whether Schwindel could hit big league pitching, but even if that went south they could play Hunter Dozier at first against a tough lefty.
So, no. I don’t have an answer that makes sense here. I also don’t think Goodwin is the solution for what’s wrong with this team, but still.
There is no place in baseball with higher yearly turnover than bullpens. Many, many bullpens are remade every year. Some relievers transition to rotations, some lose effectiveness, most are on short term contracts.
I know we all got used to the HDH group, but even those guys were together in those roles for only about a year and a half*.
*That’s not an exaggeration. Davis joined the Royals in 2013, and was a starter until September. Holland started to wobble about halfway through 2015.
The current bullpen is a mixture of experiments (Brad Boxberger and Ian Kennedy), dreams (Kyle Zimmer) and figuring out who guys are (Wily Peralta and Kevin McCarthy). At some point we’ll see some promotions from Omaha.
This is easy to forget now, but there was a time that some fans saw bullpen construction as Moore’s only strength. The rest of the roster was often a mess, but Moore usually did well finding relievers. Economics changed drastically, and the Royals’ success in 2014 and 2015 was part of that.
Constructing good bullpens now is more difficult. More expensive. It used to be the first piece you could put together, but now it’s closer to the last.
The Royals won’t be competitive until they get the lineup and rotation in place. The front office certainly didn’t think the bullpen would be this bad, but if the rest of the team looks contender-ish then I think you’ll see them transition away from experiments and dreams and figuring out who guys are.
Oh, sure. Absolutely. If the big league team loses 125 games, and Moore develops a habit of mooning the opposing team just before first pitch, and he’s caught stealing and sniffing David Glass’ dress shoes, then absolutely, he’s gone.
Other than that? Not so much.
Now, I know I’ve said this before here, but I do believe there’s a path for Ned Yost to be replaced.
Maybe replaced is the wrong word. I don’t mean to imply fired. But I do believe there are some in the organization who’ve wondered how consistently and deeply invested he is in the process. Yost has a good life, and no matter what, he’ll be inducted to the team’s Hall of Fame someday.
But the team lost 104 games last year, and if they’re on a similar pace in July or August it’s easy to imagine him walking into a special adviser’s role that includes time on the farm and the Royals going with a new voice.
You might roll your eyes at this. But keep it in mind.
O’Hearn has played all but one game, and all of those are starts but one. Both games he didn’t start were against left-handed pitchers, which makes sense to me.
Dozier has started all but two games. You’re not going to see me stump for Chris Owings getting more time, but Dozier is 3-for-23 so you’re not going to see me stump for him either.
Also, you might be using “young players” as a synonym for “long-term control” but Hamilton is only two months older than Goodwin. Again, I didn’t agree with the move on Goodwin, but it was never a matter of him or Hamilton.
I don’t think Hamilton is a long-term fit for the Royals, and I don’t think they see it that way either. He’s an investment in the pitching staff. He covers a lot of ground, and in a big ballpark with young pitchers, that’s a valuable thing.
OK. I’m disclaimer-ing here, because I know I sometimes take these questions too literally. If your overall point is that the Royals are going to have to keep turning the roster over, particularly as it relates to the bullpen and younger arms available in the minors, then we are in absolute agreement.
Moore has often said you need 40 games to have a feel for what a team is. That’s the quarter-pole of a season, and we’re not even to the quarter-pole of that quarter-pole yet.
Change will come. That was always the plan. Get another week or two like the last week and it’ll come faster than originally expected, though still slower than a lot of fans would like.
There are reasons not to. And I get it. This draft is deep enough that a talent like LSU’s Greedy Williams may fall to No. 29, and Ramsey would want a new and very large contract soon.
But Ramsey is a top shelf talent at a position of need. Draft picks tend to be overvalued. Ramsey is due $7.4 million in 2019 and a decision on his fifth-year option (2020) would need to be made by May 2.
That’s all palatable. Trading for Ramsey would officially turn a position of weakness into a strength for the Chiefs. I don’t know if they could hold onto him long-term but two (highly motivated) seasons from a top talent at a premium position of need is a heck of a return for the No. 29 overall pick.
Now, this all comes about after a Bleacher Report speculation, so this is the silliness we find ourselves in — speculating about speculation.
My guess is it would take more than the No. 29 pick to get Ramsey, and if it would also take one of the second-round picks or another pick in the future then this becomes a different conversation.
Also, it’s probably too obvious to mention that Veach should and will be influenced by Steve Spagnuolo’s opinion. If Spagnuolo thinks Ramsey is overrated or not worth the trouble, then this is a waste of time. If he thinks Ramsey is a star, then maybe you go do it.
The Chiefs are really close with this thing. Making NFL predictions about one season based largely on the results of the last season is an efficient way to look like a fool but it remains true that Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid were good enough to drag the league’s worst defense kicking and screaming and straight into overtime of the AFC championship game.
Even marginal improvement on offense would be enormously important.
Ramsey would represent more than a marginal improvement.
The club is fine. The club is good. The club will probably again prove to be one of the best in its league, and compete for a championship.
All of that is a judgment by MLS standards, which is sort of the point.
You might’ve seen where Sam McDowell reported a dozen Monterrey players would qualify as designated players in the MLS. In other words, the lowest paid player in Monterrey’s best 11 is likely richer than Sporting’s highest paid player.
Money isn’t everything, but it does buy depth, and it does buy talent.
So I’m not sure Monterrey vs. Sporting is the relevant question, particularly since that’s as far as any MLS has made it in the CONCACAF Championship League.
The relevant question is how MLS can close the gap on Liga MX and here it’s worth noting that MLS trails both England’s Premier League and Mexico’s Liga MX in popularity in America.
The short version of how MLS does that is pretty simple: grow media rights revenue, and reinvest that cash into talent (both in salaries and the pipeline), hopefully creating a sort of feedback loop that pushes MLS closer to the world’s best leagues.
That’s a complicated process, though. MLS’ TV ratings are generally poor, and the future of sports rights fees is both uncertain and complicated. Securing more money and enough more money to close the gap on talent is a big challenge.
There’s a lot to be optimistic about. Demographics and interest polls indicate a bright future for soccer in America. MLS is still relatively young, and in just a short time — five years, even — the talent has increased substantially. Who knows what it’ll look like in another five years?
My main concern about the league is whether it is expanding too quickly, that the bang of the expansion fee and new markets is not worth diluting talent at a point when the league needs more talent to become more relevant on television.
So, yeah. Like we said. Complicated.
But until those bigger issues are better addressed I’m not sure we should ever take an MLS team losing in the CCL as anything other than the expected result after a nice run in the tournament.
After all, it’s not like Sporting couldn’t compete overall in Liga MX. Toluca is a playoff team in that league, and Sporting won that round.
But the gaps remain.
This is a ridiculous thing to say, because I’m not sure Mondesi has ever touched or thrown a football. I know he doesn’t follow the sport.
But I believe he might be a star quarterback, and if not then probably a top receiver.
He’s 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. For reference’s sake, Patrick Mahomes is 6-3 and 230. Baker Mayfield, who some thought was too small to be a star, is 6-1 and 215.
Mondesi would be heavier if he was a football player, and he’d be one of the NFL’s fastest players. He obviously has enough arm strength, and you never know how different sports would translate but his baseball IQ is strong. It would stand to reason that if he grew up with football he’d understand that sport well too.
This is an interesting point, and something I think about fairly often, because multiple baseball scout-types have made the point that if Mondesi grew up in the States he probably would’ve gravitated to football or basketball.
He’s just so supremely gifted. The speed, the agility, the arm strength, the hand-eye coordination, the mind. It’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t have had a future in just about any sport.
This has become cliche by now, because it’s mentioned in every broadcast, but Mahomes was a star baseball player before football stole him away. Michael Kopech is one of the baseball’s top pitching prospects. MLB.com ranked him 18th overall before this season. He was also a high school rival of Mahomes, and told me he thought Mahomes was very similar as a baseball talent.
You don’t think the Royals could use young pitching talent, do you?
Well, thanks and, shoot, sorry guys, this is awkward but I lost the ... oh, here’s the link.
One line I couldn’t fit in there. Scott Gaffney was an assistant coach on Keller’s high school team. He was a bird dog scout for the Royals, so the first one to tip them off, but he worked closest with the outfielders and hitters.
I asked how Keller was a hitter. Gaffney laughed.
“Let’s just say he was a work in progress,” Gaffney said. “And still is.”
Anyway, the obvious answer here for the Royals is Albert Pujols. Baseball drafts are not totally dissimilar to drawing straws, and Pujols was the 402nd player taken that year. Just after Alfredo Amezaga, and just before Marc Bluma.
So everyone missed on him, including the Cardinals, who took 10 players ahead of Pujols who never reached the big leagues (including their first two picks).
But none of those other teams had the benefit or convenience or luck of having Pujols play both his high school and college baseball within a lunch break’s drive of Kauffman Stadium.
That’s just an awful miss, and one that has changed the way some teams (including the Royals) view local talent.
For the longest time the answer to the Chiefs side of this was a quarterback. They took Todd Blackledge in 1983 with Jim Kelly and Dan Marino still on the board. They took Donald Stephenson with the pick immediately ahead of Russell Wilson in 2012.
But it’s a little harder to get worked up about that now, you know? Maybe not the Blackledge pick as much, but in that unpredictable and constant game of dominoes if the Chiefs took Wilson they would almost certainly not have Mahomes.
And if Russell Wilson was drafted by the 2012 Chiefs, well, I’m predicting they still would not have won the Super Bowl after the 2013 season.
So, anyway ... well, who am I kidding? The answer is Marino. It will always be Marino.
First, here’s Ty’s story, and it’s terrific. I know some have expressed an unease with all the unnamed sources but there’s some new stuff in there and Ty’s reputation is stellar. He’s too smart and too good to not have this nailed down.
Now, to answer your question, oh my gosh, of course. I would love that.
I should say right here that my bosses have been absurdly generous with me. They give me a lot of freedom. Here is a paraphrased excerpt from my last performance review:
Boss: Anything you’re not doing that you’d like to?
Me: Sometimes I wish I could take more time on stories.
Boss: Then you should do that.
There’s a story I might write this week that I’ve been working on for a while. There are more coming. I’m writing other columns in the meantime, sure, but I want to be clear that if I went to my boss and said here’s an amazingly kickass story but I need to not do anything else for the next month I’m relatively confident he’d say OK.
Maybe he’d ask me to still do this weekly time suck. I don’t know. But my point here is that any lack of doing this already is on me and these weird conflicting motivations and insecurities and pressures I feel internally.
Now. You asked about the pluses and minuses. The pluses are everywhere. More time means exploring paths and possibilities and sources you might not even think about with less. More time means more conversations with sources, better understanding of the subject, and more editing.
Generally, more time means a better chance to rise above the normal noise of sports media to write something truly memorable.
The minuses are a little less tangible, but basically speak to pressure. If you’re taking four months on a story it better damn well be good. If it’s not, you have some explaining to do with your boss, and no matter the explanation you’ll have a tough argument the next time.
Also, writers tend to be insecure and paranoid. If you’re not writing for that long, it’s hard to feel relevant. It’s hard to feel valuable. It’s hard to feel like you’re earning your money.
But, typically, you’re not going to spend four months on something unless it’s good. If the reporting isn’t going the right way you’ll pull the chute much earlier.
This is the time of year where we can do more of that, and I have some ideas. Nothing that I’m going to spend four straight months on with nothing else, but this is the season of pulling the slingshot back a little more.
Hopefully it’s worth it.
I am incapable of given you a top 10 list because the only Easter candy I care about is Starburst jelly beans, and brother, I’m here to tell you that I care about Starburst jelly beans so completely and deeply that I am left with no room to care about anything else.
This is (unfortunately) not an exaggeration: I will eat Starburst jelly beans until a) there are no more Starburst jelly beans or b) I am quite literally and physically sick from eating so many gosh dang Starburst jelly beans.
I’m like a 3 year old, is what I’m saying. Or a goldfish.
It’s so bad my wife sort of apologizes when she brings them in the house. Like, she’s trying to be nice. To be good to her man. To give him something that brings him joy. She also knows I’m going to end up sick, with teeth that feel like they’re about to crumble, so the emotions are conflicted everywhere.
As I type these words, I’m realizing that I just put a third stick of delicious Starburst gum in my mouth and am chewing like an addict. It’s probably time to move on.
Never bothered me.
Charles Barkley is sort of the exception to every rule, but even if he wasn’t, they made that so transparent and genuine that I’m not sure how you could be offended.
The only thing that bothers me is insincerity. That can go both ways. There are some in this line of work who root for certain teams but pretend they don’t, and others who fake it to ingratiate themselves with viewers/listeners/readers.
That’s obnoxious, but also usually pretty easy to spot.
I had a sort of old-school introduction to this industry. I worked at the Lawrence Journal-World in high school and would help cover KU games. Chuck Woodling was the sports editor back then, and I’d ride to games in his car, the one with the “Mizzou Alumni” license plate frame.
I never asked, but I always wondered if Chuck took any grief in Lawrence for where he went to school. I’m guessing he did from time to time, but I’m damn well certain he didn’t care either way.
There are some in this business who are sort of pridefully apathetic when it comes to teams. They love to talk about how much they don’t care, and will go on, unprompted. The problem with this approach is that many who use it end up jaded and out of touch.
This is just me talking, and I don’t have any proof, but it seems to me that if you talk about and are so adamantly outgoing about your disinterest in who wins you can also lose track of what makes sports fun.
I think I’ve found my place, for whatever that’s worth. I am deeply into moments and stories and explanations but generally unbothered by who wins or loses.
I don’t know if it’s the right way. But it’s the most honest way I know, which is the only thing that really matters.
First Friday dinner at Extra Virgin, followed by a drink on a rooftop somewhere. Saturday morning donuts from Fluffy Fresh, but get the grill going early enough for a brisket or ribs. Play baseball at Loose Park with the kids, crush all the food on the deck. Royals game on Sunday afternoon.
What’s wrong with that?
This week I’m particularly grateful for our younger son, who on Sunday: turned 3, never stopped talking, played with any kid in sight, ate the ribs he asked for, and took a nasty fall that left him with blood dripping from his mouth and a big scrape across his face like a champ. He went from crying at the pain to crying because he wanted to go back out and play in about 90 seconds and in that moment I was so psyched I could’ve wrestled a dragon.Related stories from Kansas City Star
Even newbie investors know that Coca-Cola is a dividend stalwart. The company has not only paid its shareholders but also increased the payout for 55 consecutive years. That leads to mind-boggling growth.
And today's yield of 3.3% from the company is high by historical standards. But cracks are starting to show in Coke's dividend. That's why you should check out the three dividend stocks recommended by our contributors: AT&T (NYSE:T), Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ). They're all healthy and have higher yields than what Coke is offering today.AT&T is a cheap, high-yielding gem for income investors
Jamal Carnette, CFA (AT&T): Increasingly, it appears as if the market is pricing in a dividend cut from Old Ma Bell. AT&T stock has dropped 20% year to date versus the 5% gain posted by the S&P 500. As a result, AT&T shares now yield nearly 6.5%, a figure three times higher than the greater index, while trading at nine times forward earnings, approximately half of the S&P's valuation.
The most recent letdown for the stock was a disappointing third-quarter earnings report, as investors myopically focused on DirecTV subscriber losses. This is understandable, as it was AT&T's plan for DirecTV to offset increased pricing pressures in the wireless telephony business.
However, lost in the report was the fact that AT&T beat revenue estimates and produced $6.5 billion in free cash flow (cash from operations minus capital expenditures), a 17% increase from last year's corresponding quarter and a figure more than adequate to service the $3.6 billion in quarterly dividend payments.
Management is guiding for full-year free cash flow of $21 billion, more than enough to service the $14 billion to $15 billion of dividends for the intermediate time frame. AT&T may not give much in the way of capital returns or significantly increase its payout in the foreseeable future, but it's likely to continue to service that massive dividend. Bargain-oriented income investors should put AT&T on their watchlists.Who likes processed foods?
Nicholas Rossolillo (Kraft Heinz): Big food conglomerates have been under fire the last few years. As consumer tastes and preferences have changed, favoring healthier and fresher options, companies that specialize in processed foods have struggled to find any meaningful growth.
Even Warren Buffett favorite Kraft Heinz has been put in Wall Street's doghouse. Shares are down more than 40% from their high-water mark the last couple of years, as sales have gone stale and profits have headed in the wrong direction. There isn't a lot of silver lining at the moment; let's call it tin lining, like the kind you'd find in a Kraft snack food (like Planters Peanuts or Jell-O). Because of the stock's tumble, the dividend yield is at an attractive 4.5%, and the trailing one-year price-to-earnings ratio is a mere 6.1.
There's a reason for those depressed prices, though. Analysts expect profits to take more of a hit in the year ahead, implied by a one-year forward price-to-earnings ratio of 14.2. There are two ways to look at this: One is that the stock has plenty of downside left if the bottom line keeps sliding; the other is that investors have already priced some more pain in, and shares could begin to rebound if management can demonstrate it is gaining some positive traction.
I'm going to say the second scenario is likely. Though it wasn't perfect, organic sales (which exclude effects from brand acquisitions and sales) were up 2.6% year over year during the third quarter. The bottom line slightly missed again, but free cash flow (money left over after basic operations and capital expenditures are paid for) is at $555 million over the last 12 months and has been on the rise this year. That gives Kraft Heinz plenty of mobility to rearrange its food portfolio to capture changing consumer trends.
While investors wait for signs of life, there's always that dividend. And 4.5% is nothing to scoff at, especially while waiting on a food industry juggernaut like Kraft Heinz to turn things around.Market beating? Maybe. Huge payout? Yes.
Brian Stoffel (Verizon): I'm not much of a dividend investor, but if I was, I'd team up with Jamal in calling out the other megaplayer in American telecom: Verizon. The company currently sports a payout of 4.3%.
To me, the sustainability of the payout is the most important thing. That means evaluating free cash flow (FCF). And on that front, Verizon is very strong. Over the first nine months of the year, FCF has almost tripled to $14.22 billion. And while the company has paid out $9.7 billion in dividends over the past year, that has only eaten up 44% of free cash flow. In plain English, this means the dividend is not only sustainable but has considerable room for growth over time.
I will admit to being disappointed that the decisions to acquire some Yahoo! properties and AOL have not panned out for Verizon. Luckily, the company's size has made such mistakes digestible. Its legacy business, on the other hand, is in great shape; it is the clear leader in the 5G space, and it has shown brisk subscriber gains.
But I want to caution investors: I don't own nor have I made an outperform call for Verizon in my own CAPS profile. That's because -- while I think Verizon makes an excellent choice for income investors looking for steady payouts -- I'm not convinced that returns will match that of the overall market.
That said, if all you're looking for is safety, Verizon's a pretty good bet.
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