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Why Niko Resources Ltd. Shares Sank

By Alex Planes – Feb 14, 2014 at 3:00PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

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 Niko Resources Ltd. (NKO) are trading 4% lower today after opening the day with an 11% drop following the release of a disappointing fiscal third-quarter earnings report.

So what: Niko, which has now focused its oil and gas exploration efforts on India and Bangladesh (abandoning its work in Indonesia and Trinidad), has seen its losses widen as a result of that strategic shift. The company's average sales volume of 112 million cubic feet of natural gas-equivalent (MMcfe/d) per day was virtually the same as last quarter's 113 MMcfe/d). Despite a significant reduction in capital expenditures, to $47 million as compared to last quarter's $112 million as a result of Niko's strategic shift, net losses soared to $448 million against last quarter's $149 million, primarily as a result of asset impairments of $339 million on the company's abandoned efforts in Indonesia and Trinidad.

Now what: The moderating of Niko's morning losses shows that investors are willing to forgive the company's temporary weakness -- but the modest drop could also be because beleaguered shareholders have already lost about two-thirds of their investment in the stock over the past year. Niko's price-to-book is a rock-bottom 0.3 right now, far below that of many oil-industry peers and competitors, but since sales volumes are only projected to grow by roughly 10% in 2014 and 2015, there may be a lot of losses ahead before Niko begins rewarding patient shareholders with profits.

Alex Planes has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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