Shares of Tellurian (TELL -0.51%) surged today, closing at exactly $9 per share. That was good for a 10.97% gain on Monday, a big move up that made it one of the few stocks in the oil and gas industry to gain in value. Most energy stocks were selling off on a sharp drop in crude oil futures, which closed trading down nearly 3% on the day.
This is one of those "no reason" moves that investors just have to chalk up as a win sometimes. After scouring the news feeds and checking Tellurian's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, there simply isn't anything material out there to point to as being behind the stock's big gain today. There isn't even a rumor of a big pending deal or new partnership that could be behind the jump.
Frankly, investors who own or are looking at Tellurian -- an operator of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility (or it will be when its facilities begin operation) -- should get used to these kinds of days. The company doesn't actually have any revenue-generating operations, and its entire future is based on a natural gas liquefaction and export facility on the Gulf Coast that it hasn't even started building yet. At this writing, the company doesn't even have all the necessary approvals to break ground.
To put it plainly, this is the epitome of a speculative stock.
Because Tellurian is highly speculative and still years away from actually having a viable business, investors who follow the stock or buy shares will need plenty of intestinal fortitude to ride out these sorts of days. Rest assured there will be plenty of big down days, too, and often for similar reasons (read: none) as today.
Furthermore, since there's no revenue, operating cash flows, or net income to evaluate the company with at this stage, investors will need to view it as the start-up it is. They have to measure its progress by management's ability to achieve key goals, such as getting the final approvals to move forward with building its facility, getting funding, and signing deals with the energy companies that will use its export facility to ship natural gas.
There's certainly risk when a company is worth $2 billion based entirely on a business plan and can't generate a single dollar of revenue from a product or service yet. But with an executive team that owns over 40% of the company and essentially created the U.S. LNG export industry, I think it's a risk worth taking. The international market for natural gas is massive and growing, and the potential rewards if Tellurian accomplishes its objectives are enormous.
But if you buy in, buckle up. It's gonna be bumpy for a long time.
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