“Peak Natural Gas — Coming Shortfall Starts 1000% Rampage”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 31, 2008

This teaser comes in from a newsletter I haven’t looked at before, the Virtual Investing Club from Shane Rawlings. It’s all about a special report about Peak Natural Gas, and the likely skyrocketing price of gas from the current range of $7-10/mcf to $30 by the end of the decade.

The end of the decade is only two years away. OK, so now I’m feeling old.

Shane would like you to try a subscription to his service for $1 for the first month, but if you don’t cancel after that trial period the subscription will run you about fifty bucks a month, which is a significant cost ($600 a year), though it’s far from being one of the more expensive newsletter or advisory services (this appears to be more of a live portfolio/investor education trading service than a traditional “two picks a month” newsletter). I have no idea what their track record is, though I assume the believe it to be splendiferous.

There are lots of reasons given for why this natural gas peak will come — but primarily it’s an argument that the conventional fields, like the big Western Sedimentary Basin in Canada are running low, and that there will have to be massive investments in the unconventional gas sources. Here he’s talking primarily about shale gas, which is apparently abundant in some areas but much more expensive to access. You’ve probably heard of the Barnett Shale and the Fayetteville Shale, both of which are big, or potentially big, natural gas reservoirs, and there are others.

And the demand for services to access these difficult gas reserves is what is expected to dramatically move the price of this small cap stock.

We’ve seen these kinds of teasers before, of course, with mixed results. Big Cat Energy was supposed to have the key product that would allow for environmentally friendly extraction of the gas from coal methane beds, and so far that hasn’t worked out so well. Contango Oil & Gas is a Fayetteville Shale player that has performed very well, and Bayou Bend is one that’s a more conventional Gulf of Mexico producer that has sunk like a stone. Corac Group, the “Torpedo Technique” company that’s supposed to extract more gas from conventional reservoirs, is just about where it was the last time I wrote about them. Like I said, a mixed bag, even with natural gas having a bit of a recovery over the last few months (though it remains well below the post-Katrina highs).

But hey, maybe this one will be a winner. It is a service provider of some sort, not an actual driller, so that hits what my general preference has been for companies in this sector of late.

What specific clues do we hear?

Here’s a little extract for you:

“The ‘featured’ company in my new report ‘Peak Natural Gas’ is a world leader in helping natural gas producers efficiently extract gas from unconventional sources. Some of it’s major customers include: Dominion Resources, Energen Corporation, XTO energy, and Devon Energy.

“Forbes ranks this company as one of the best small companies you can own. But with a market cap of just over 200 million, it’s still way under Wall Street’s radar. Typically, major institutions won’t start buying until a company has a market cap of at least 1 billion. So this company could see a five-fold increase before the big boys even take notice.

“The blistering rate at which this company is growing revenues and earnings, attests to how badly natural gas producers need this company. It won’t be long before the market cap justifies institutional support. When they start jumping on board, who knows how high the stock will go. Timing is everything so don’t delay.”

So what are we looking at here?

Well, the facts and clues are few, but the Thinkolator is well rested — your Gumshoe will not be denied today! So I can tell you with some certainty that this stock must be …

Natural Gas Services (NGS)

This is actually one I’ve looked at before, but it was a loooong time ago. It briefly peaked just under $20 last Summer when Andrew Mickey touted them as the company that “turns dry wells into profits,” but then fell back to the teens and then had a nice climb, with some volatile moments, to the current price around $21. They are essentially an equipment firm, they make specialized compressors and similar gear that helps for all kinds of natural gas extraction, with a focus on the shale gas and other unconventional or challenging situations, and they lease that equipment to the drillers.

The company is right around $250 million in market cap right now, it does have those four major drillers as clients, and it is number 48 on the Forbes 200 list for “best small companies,” so I don’t imagine there’s another firm that meets these clues.

Insiders own a lot of the stock, but institutions and insiders both lightened up on their holdings a bit over the past quarter (institutions fairly dramatically so, insiders only had a couple sales of relatively small size). This is a very focused company that is really all about natural gas compressors, so it’s hard to compare them to other firms, but if we look at a firm providing similar services like Flotek we can see that NGS is growing more slowly but is priced more dearly, so you may wish to look at the details yourself. I don’t mean to say that Flotek is a better buy, NGS has better margins and a more focused business, and their last year’s growth rate is smaller than the growth of the past five years, and than the growth projected by analysts for the next five, so it’s quite likely that the comparison is unfair. On the positive side, NGS has had positive earnings surprises for the last four quarters in a row, which is always lovely.

SmallCapInvestor.com had a good overview of the positive aspects of the company at SeekingAlpha a couple months ago, if you’d like to hear some other reasons to buy the shares. And in general, it is often a very good thing when a small cap company builds through acquisition, as NGS has, to grow a dominant service provider in a small niche — sometimes it works very well, as with Middleby for commercial ovens, but that’s certainly never guaranteed. And the volatility brought by serving just one niche of the economy, as NGS does, can be signfiicant if natural gas prices swoon, or if new technologies are developed by competitors that marginalize NGS’ offerings.

I don’t know much about the company other than what I’ve shared above, but I do like profitable, largely undiscovered small caps in niche businesses that have significant insider ownership. That’s not to say that there aren’t some skeletons in the closet for these guys — if you’ve come across them, please feel free to share here.

Happy Investing, all.

full disclosure: I do not currently own shares or have any other direct interest in any stock mentioned here, and will not invest in any company mentioned for at least three days.

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25 Comments on "“Peak Natural Gas — Coming Shortfall Starts 1000% Rampage”"

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Jesse Siglow
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Jesse Siglow
April 1, 2008 5:31 am

Here is a teaser I'm curious about.

Capitalizing on a Commodities Bubble from Options Zone.

I've also found that when someone does subscribe to these "services" the subscription opens the doors for a flood of sales emails. It has been my practice to subscribe, look at their nonsense and cancel within the guaranteed refund time. Therefore I appreciate your service more than you can know, and will be contributing $$$ to your effort.

Thanks,

Jesse

Dividends4Life
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April 1, 2008 2:46 pm

I took a quick look at NGS and found that its sock peaked (spiked)in 2005. Its TTM ROI and TTM pretax margin look strong. It looks like it has the best prospects within its peer group (HAL, BHI, NBR, BJS).

Best Wishes,

D4L

Rosalle
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Rosalle
April 2, 2008 4:46 am

I would be very cautious about anything the Virtual Investing Club has to say. They are long on promises and very short on results. I speak from personal experience with their organization.

Paul
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Paul
May 3, 2008 1:30 am

Thanks for this insight, I was about to call Shane Rawlings about investing and thought to Google his name to see what came up…

Andrew
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Andrew
July 14, 2008 3:48 pm

Has anyone bought VirtualInvesting.com's option magic service?? I am very skeptical about these guys Shane Rawlings and Jesse Webb who run the sight. But I am really looking for some help in successful options trading. I go to CBOE website and ImpliedVolatility website for inputs and trade ideas. But I am looking for help in deciphering successful trading patterns for options trades.

Xeno
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September 23, 2008 1:25 pm

Shane Rawlings of Virtual Investing has performed several failed business ventures… look it up, many people have lost 10's of thousands dealing with him.

Barry
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March 31, 2009 4:31 pm
"Has anyone bought VirtualInvesting.com’s option magic service?? " I did but the worst thing is NOT plain text book sold to you but a series charges of $49.95 showing on your bank statement every month without your knowing it. I purchased the book in August, 2008, and then that company had charged my credit card $49.95 everymonth until Jan. 2009 when my wife found the strange payments. I called my bank to issue chargebacks, but the bank can charge last three months' payment back only. In my case, I have only got three $49.95 back for November, December and January,… Read more »
krishna
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krishna
April 1, 2009 3:50 am

Gumshoe – I havent seen the tout, but am curious – is there anyone promoting a "peak Baloney" theory? Enquiring minds want to know….

Norman Gorman
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July 21, 2009 1:14 am
I have gotten many emails from Jesse Webb's Option Magic this week. Here is the email: California Option Trader Makes $18 Billion in a Single Year! Using the same system…. A Former Bears linebacker who raked in over $16 million in 3 years! An Ex golf-caddy who earned over $100,000 a month for 70 consecutive months! And a young college graduate who parlayed his $400 into $200 million in 10 years! The secret was revealed today in this special report. Try it FREE Today [CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS SECRET REPORT] Sincerely, Jesse Webb P.S. Don't wait, there's only a… Read more »
Alex
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Alex
August 29, 2009 8:58 pm

I am also checking out Jesse Webb and Option Magic. There seem to be two businesses using a very similar name, both in Utah, one with a ton of complaints and the other with only two which are both for slow payment according to BBB. Jesse is named as owner of the latter least offending company, see http://www.bbb.org/utah/business-reviews/training

Leslie John Hooker
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Leslie John Hooker
October 3, 2009 5:36 am

Thanks very much for saving me from this Jesse Webb Options Magic trap.

James Thurgood
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James Thurgood
February 15, 2010 11:15 am
I really don't see this as a "trap" from what I have read. You have to enter your credit card to order the information, do all of you just blindly NOT read the terms and conditions. Its pretty simple to click a link to scan one paragraph of terms to see if there is a auto billing component to the offer. Its really not uncommon on these kind of offers. I buy them all the time. I actually have the service and have used it for the past 6 months. The stock picks have really been quite good and the… Read more »
Dave
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February 16, 2010 10:34 am

What exactly is wrong with Jesse Webb's Option Magic course/advisory service. I am thinking about ordering the course.Would appreciate any feedback.Thanks,

Dave

James Thurgood
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James Thurgood
February 16, 2010 11:58 am
Theres nothing wrong with it. Its pretty strait forward, has some good tools. there is a ton of education videos I went through. I think some people have just gotten bent out of shape because when buying the book the subscription service is also offered as a 45 day free trial which starts an auto billing cycle if its not canceled. I remember the terms being plastered on everything, the order confirm page the welcome email etc. I honestly didn't feel like it was hidden. to cancel you only have to send an email so that is not a big… Read more »
Dale Vandelay
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Dale Vandelay
April 19, 2010 7:06 pm

Know that the two companies are one in the same for all intents and purposes. Compare the addresses listed on the California Option Trader Jesse Webb Option Magic order form and you will find they are identical to the poorly rated version of Option Magic. No judgment here…just FYI.

Peter D
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Peter D
May 19, 2010 4:36 pm

I got the book, the free 45 day trial and a trade came up; I plunged and so far I'm up 70% in 3 days. Target is 200% by June 16, I will sell at 150% (assuming I get there) so as not to be a pig.

The site seems a decent value, but the picks come along slowly. I've been contacted by the virtual investing club folks & am more skeptical. Trying to do my due dilligence. While rated a D at BBB their actual track record isn't too horrible, most of the complaints have been settled.

Bigg Fredd
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Bigg Fredd
October 22, 2010 8:51 am

PayPal, and perhaps your CC issuer, can provide you with a one-use CC number. Even if someone steals it, they can't use it. It can't be used to hit you with monthly subscriptions, either.

Tim
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Tim
April 23, 2016 3:19 pm

It seems that Jesse Web now has a service called OptionThink or OptionThink Millionaire’s Club. It has a fantastic track record and a 30 day free trial ($1,995 yr). I don’t have any experience with it. And I can’t find any complaints about it. Would be interesting to hear from anyone who has experience with it.

Jack
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Jack
July 14, 2009 12:16 pm
Indeed, the very small 'agree to terms' link is under the very large, 'ORDER NOW!' box. As stated: Subscription terms and conditions: Once your initial forty five-day free trial period to The Virtual Investing Club has expired the credit card we have on file from your purchase of the Option Magic offer will automatically be billed $49.95 per month. If you do not wish to continue your subscription you must notify us in writing at least three business days prior to your first charge date. Monthly charges for The Virtual Investing Club occurring after the initial forty five-day free trial… Read more »
SnoopyJC
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August 15, 2009 9:55 pm

Check this on "Options Magic": http://www.bbb.org/utah/business-reviews/investme

–joe

Dave
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February 16, 2010 10:46 am

Thanks for the info. There is always a fee for a monthly advisory service. If yo make money with the service then it is a good deal. I am going to try the service.

Dave

Andrea Burris
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Andrea Burris
May 14, 2010 12:08 pm

So my question to those who have tried and like the Virtual Investing Club and Options Magic is this: What kind of results are you getting from your investing? Anything in the neighborhood of what Jesse suggests you can make? We're talking real numbers here, and is it worth the $49./mo. you are paying? I am objective and curious. Thanks.

Irene Walters
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Irene Walters
July 6, 2010 10:14 am

I was checking the internet for Option Magic and stumbled across this site .www.rhythmofthemarket.com by a guy called Stan Moore who seems to be the originator of Option Magic and Rhythme of the Markets. Jesse Webb seems to be promoting the same program as Stan Moore? Makes me wonder?. Moreover, there seems to be some problem when I try to log on to Jesse Webbs site. I get this red warning – "This site may harm your computer"

William Conner
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William Conner
August 6, 2010 3:35 pm
Andrew, I paid OM $4995 for their course, only because they guaranteed that if I didn't earn back my tuition in one year of trading, I'd get a refund. I completed the lackluster training, with poor instructor support, and began a one year options trading cycle. Following their system I did not earn anywhere near the tuition in the year that followed. I copied relevant transaction history pages and submitted a request for refund and I've never gotten a reply since! STAY AWAY ANDRES, THEY ARE BOGUS! I am still strapped with this credit card debt of $5 grand!, and… Read more »
jim
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jim
May 25, 2011 8:40 pm

try small claims court. It often works with amounts up to $2500, but varies from state to state.
jjd

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