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 Hi-Crush Partners (NYSE:HCLP) crashed 10.2% today thanks to oil prices hitting a 5-year low--despite the fact that some analysts have upgraded their recommendations on the stock in recent weeks.
So What: This is one of those things that happens when you are a services company that is tied to oil and gas drilling activity. While there hasn't been any tangible change to the operations of the company, a falling price of oil means investors will get afraid that demand for your services will dry up as producers cut back on spending until oil prices recover.
Well, that situation has been playing out. Crude oil prices hit the five-year low with West Texas intermediate dropping 4.3% today, ending at $63.05. At these prices there are many players in the North American shale drilling world that cannot produce and turn a profit, so it's likely that if these price levels continue they will need to slow capital spending and the demand for frac sand will get weaker in the near term future.
Now What: This has been a devastating past three months for Hi-Crush and just about everyone selling frac sand to the oil and gas activity. Some of it is merited since its likely that some companies will ease up on oil drilling. However, there is also the possibility that the sell off of frac sand suppliers is overblown since demand for sand from gas drilling will likely remain in tact and the amount of oil drilling isn't going to completely disappear. For those taking the long term view and have been looking at Hi-Crush, though, this could be that opportunity to pick up shares at a considerable discount from what they were only a few months ago.
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