What: Shares of Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG) and its subsidiaries Cheniere Energy Partners (NYSEMKT:CQP) and Cheniere Energy Partners Holdings (NYSEMKT:CQH) all took a beating when well known short seller Jim Chanos announced that he had taken a short position in Cheniere Energy, stating that the market for LNG was oversupplied in the near term and that shares of Cheniere were wildly overvalued.
So What: Whenever someone like Chanos puts a company in his sights, the market has a tendency to listen. In an interview with CNBC, Chanos explained how the recent bevy of new LNG supply terminals that are all hitting the market at once will lead to a large oversupply of LNG over the next couple of years and many of the lucrative contracts that companies signed a couple of years ago may end up being renegotiated. More so, Chanos saw the Cheniere' stock -- a company that is a pure play in LNG -- as way to expensive. At the time of the interview, the company's stock was valued at more than 11 times the company's projected EBITDA in 2021.
The reason that values of all the Cheniere entities started to rebound toward the end of the month came when another famous investor, Carl Icahn, announced that he has upped his stake in Cheniere to 11.4% of the entire company and will receive a couple board seats.
Now What: Investing in Cheniere Energy today really depends on your time horizon. Jim Chanos probably has a point about shares of Chniere Energy being too expensive today. The amount of time before it will grow into its earnings at today's prices seems like a large opportunity cost.
However, the company's Sabine Pass plans to ship its first cargoes by the end of the year and be ramped up to full capacity in 2016. This makes an investment in Cheniere Energy Partners -- a direct investment in just this facility -- a more lucrative investment worth looking at. More than 85% of the facilities are under rather lucrative contracts and there are no rumors of renegotiated contracts right now. With shares trading with e distribution yield north of 6%, Cheniere Energy Partners looks much more compelling than its parent company.
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