Energy Business

Trouble in Oil Spill Clean-Up Shares (BP, CLH, NLC, NR, MOPN)

BP plc (NYSE: BP) managed to get a cap on the well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  Pressure continues to build and it is unknown if the cap will hold.  But over the last 48 hours there has been plenty of profit taking, and some shorting, of the stocks poised to win from the clean-up.  Clean Harbors, Inc. (NYSE:CLH) and Nalco Holding Co. (NYSE:NLC) tumbled while Newpark Resources, Inc. (NYSE:NR) and the Pink Sheet-listed MOP Environmental (OTC: MOPN) are off as well.  This is just another example of how one-time beneficiaries, even if the ‘one-time’ may last for extended periods of time, are difficult themes for investors to stick with over time.

Clean Harbors, Inc. (NYSE: CLH) gave projections about how much the spill clean-up was helping to boost business.  Its shares are down over 3% at $62.50 this morning after having seen prices almost $67.00 on just Wednesday and Thursday.  Its 52-week range is $49.07 to $72.14.  Shares are down about 14% from their highs during the BP event.

Nalco Holding Co. (NYSE: NLC), which makes the chemical dispersant Corexit, has many areas of operation so is less of pure-play.  With a 2% drop to $22.95 today, this peaked above $23.60 this week and the 52-week range is $16.50 to $29.25.  Shares are down over 21% from their highs now.  Unfortunately for the company, dispersants and Corexit have many issues of their own.

Newpark Resources Inc. (NYSE: NR) peaked at just above $7.00 all throughout this week so far and shares are down 2% at $6.87 this morning.  Its 52-week range is $2.26 to $8.05.  Shares are down almost 15% from their highs.

MOP Environmental Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: MOPN) is an example of true penny stock purgatory and just one more sampling of dozens and dozens of routine instances where Pink Sheet stocks just do not make the grade for most investors.  The stock is down over 4% at $0.12+ this morning and was at $0.18 earlier this week and above $0.20 last week and hit $0.35 last month.  So much for the great ‘boom growth’…

Many companies do win in these disaster situations.  The problem is that the work tied to such wins is short-lived and analysts and investors always figure out that this is a revenue stream that will one day go away or be for less.

JON C. OGG

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