Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of propane distributor Inergy
So what: The company said it may reduce distributions and is reviewing operations because of an unexpectedly warm winter, which has crushed demand for propane. Cash flows in 2011 only covered 68% of distributions, so management is going to review future distribution levels and may cut them to match future cash flows.
Now what: The weak demand shouldn't be a huge surprise, especially for those of us in Northern states enjoying the warm weather. But one bad year doesn't make a trend, and I think this sell-off is awfully big considering the fact that next year we could be back to more normal temperature levels. For investors willing to wait out the warmth this year, I think shares will recover long term as cold eventually blankets the country and Inergy's business lights up again.
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