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 tanker owner Frontline Ltd. (NYSE:FRO) jumped as much as 22.5% in early trading as oil prices rose and the company announced further details of potential share sales.
So what: The bigger driver this morning was a pop in oil prices. Oil rose sharply near the end of the day on Friday and jumped another 2% today to bring the price of a barrel of WTI crude oil to $49.21 at 12:30 p.m. EST. That's a bullish sign for oil but, ironically, it may not increase shipments of oil. Higher oil prices would lead to more drilling in the U.S., which reduces imports and hampers Frontline's business.
Management also announced that it distributed an additional 10 million shares of stock during January under an agreement that allows them to sell stock into the open market at any time. This capital will help keep the company afloat and management gave itself more freedom last week by increasing the potential offerings from $100 million to $150 million.
Now what: While the news of higher oil prices and more funding for operations may seem positive, I don't see this as a reason to buy today. Frontline was losing money even when oil prices were high and losses for the first nine months of 2014 came to $150 million. I just don't have confidence that the long-term vessel pricing trends will improve enough to leave Frontline with any profit, and until management proves they can make money, I'm staying out of the stock.