Can the FDI hussle up?
The best thing though, the “quality” of these articles speaks for themselves…
Shia’s ‘slick’ tip
Actor LaBeouf continues broker role off camera
By KAJA WHITEHOUSE
Actor Shia LaBeouf appears to be taking his role as Gordon Gekko’s protégé in the upcoming “Wall Street” movie a little too seriously.
After preparing for his turn as a hedge-fund trader by visiting trading floors of small brokerage houses, LaBeouf in the April issue of GQ talked up the stock of an oil and natural gas exploration company that has yet to produce any of either.
“IOC’s momentum is major, and it will surprise to the upside,” LaBeouf said in a text message to the GQ article’s author, Adam Sachs, using the trader lingo he apparently picked up while prepping for the film.
The 23-year-old star of the “Transformers” franchise was referring to InterOil, a Canadian firm with the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol IOC that says it’s searching for natural gas and oil in Papua New Guinea.
However, after seven years of exploration and drilling, InterOil has yet to produce any proven commercial oil or gas reserves.
Nevertheless, InterOil’s stock is up an astounding 385 percent since the start of 2009 — a feat critics attribute to InterOil’s flurry of uplifting press releases about its drilling and exploration plans.
[Just “plans” Really? How about record DST results, payzones, flowrates.. How about independent resource reports, etc. etc.]
On Jan. 20, for example, the company issued a release announcing “indications of oil” at a well it called Antelope-2. News of the so-called indications sent the stock up more than $6, or 8 percent, to $81.38.
InterOil shares yesterday closed down 72 cents to $67.95, giving it a higher stock price — although not a greater market cap — than Exxon Mobil, the world’s most profitable company, which also engages in oil exploration. Exxon shares closed down 45 cents yesterday to $66.50.
Despite the higher stock price, InterOil has a market cap at $3 billion. (Exxon’s is $314 billion.) Its only revenues come from oil refining and distribution, a small business that allowed the company to post its first-ever full-year profit, of $6 million, in 2009.
InterOil spokesman Wayne Andrews said that although the company isn’t currently making money on its oil and gas exploration, and that a plant may take to 2015 to build, the stock is not overvalued.
“We’re just a small company looking to partner with a larger company to develop the resources we’ve discovered,” Andrews said.
Yet some analysts agree it’s a risky proposition.
“It’s a speculative stock, there’s no doubt about it,” said Pavel Molchanov, a Raymond James analyst.
“The profitability of the refinery is limited,” and “the stock is trading at $70 for the reserve potential,” said Molchanov, who has a “hold” recommendation on the stock.
CAA, LaBeouf’s talent agency, didn’t return a request for the actor to comment.
“Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” is expected in theaters in September.
LaBeouf in the GQ article boasted that his apparent training at trading stocks helped him parlay $20,000 into $450,000.