Thursday, June 18, 2015

Global Oil Supply Rising Faster Than Demand (excerpt)

Global oil demand rose to a new record high of 93.8 mbd based on the 12-month average through May. It’s been doing so since it recovered from the Great Recession ever since June 2010. It has been rising at a faster pace in recent months. It rose 1.2% y/y in May, up from a recent low of 0.6% during November 2014.

Does this suggest that global economic growth is picking up? I doubt it. More likely is that the drop in oil prices is boosting demand. That’s the way the price mechanism is supposed to work. While the upturn in demand has helped oil prices to rebound from their lows at the start of the year, there’s plenty of supply keeping a lid on them despite the fall in prices. Indeed, the ratio of demand-to-supply continued to fall in May as it has virtually every month since August 2013. I expect that the price of a barrel of crude will remain range bound between $46 and $68 (the year’s low and high in the nearby futures price) through the end of this year.

This suggests that the S&P 500 Energy sector isn’t likely to outperform the S&P 500. It might be a market performer at best. The sector isn’t cheap with a forward P/E of 24.7, although its forward earnings has stopped falling in recent weeks.

Today's Morning Briefing: Leading Sectors. (1) Three outperforming sectors: Health Care, Consumer Discretionary, and IT. (2) They aren’t cheap, but they can grow earnings. (3) Overall outlook for revenues and earnings growth is lackluster. (4) Industry analysts tend to be overly bullish about prospects for long-term growth. (5) Is the trend growth rate 10%, 7%, or 5%? (6) Investors are also optimistic given record-high PEG. (7) More upside for profit margins of some sectors. (8) Financial engineering can also boost earnings per share. (9) Why Goldman hates buybacks. (10) Lower prices boosting oil demand, but supply increasing faster. (11) Focus on market-weight-rated S&P 500 Energy. (More for subscribers.)

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