I’ve got a couple notes for you today on companies I own and follow, including updates on Lonrho and Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. to respond to some questions I’ve been getting, but first we’ve got a bit of a teaser to dig through — and it’s an oldie that has been brought back a couple times over the last few years, but each time the story changes a little bit.
The stock’s sure a heckuva lot cheaper than it was last time the idea was teased — and this week’s teaser pitch says there’s more by way of “real” news catalysts coming soon. So is the story worth buying now? Let’s dig in and see if we can help you make that call.
You’re my favorite people, of course (you can’t buy love, but you can buy fondness), so I won’t make you linger through the whole teaser spiel before I unveil the stock — the pitch is from Byron King for his Energy & Scarcity Investor, and he’s teasing HRT Participacoes en Petroleo, often referred to as simply “HRT” (though that’s not the ticker — stock symbol is HRP in Canada, HRTPY on the pink sheets, HRTP3 at home in Brazil). HRT is the Brazilian oil company run by the ebullient Marcio Mello, and it has been a terrible investment since it went public a few years ago in the height of Brazilian oil optimism, not long after Petrobras had discovered their offshore bounty in the huge deepwater fields (while Mello worked there, we’re told), and it has particularly been falling since they got into the Namibian exploration business in a big way by buying UNX Energy about two years ago, now down more than 90% from the highs.
If you missed our earlier pieces on UNX Energy and later on HRT when King teased them in 2010 and 2012, our article on the original pitch for UNX is here, from back in July 2010, and the March 2012 teaser unveiling when the pitch switched to acquirer HRT is here. That buyout looked good for UNX Energy shareholders at the time, since if they bought around the time of the first Byron King tease they would have seen their shares run up from $1.50 or $2 to about $6 on the takeover bid.
But the takeover was paid for with HRT shares, not with ...