Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Shares of Cheniere Energy Declined 19% in January Thanks to Operational Delays

By Tyler Crowe - Feb 10, 2016 at 8:05AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Operational delays at Cheniere's Sabine Pass LNG facility had investors a bit nervous this past month.

What: Shares of Cheniere Energy (LNG 3.77%) fell 19% in January. While the entire market for energy stocks was less than robust for the month, Cheniere was hit particularly hard when it announced that it had to delay its first cargoes of LNG a few months. Similarly, shares of its two subsidiaries Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP 3.18%) and Cheniere Energy Partners Holdings (NYSEMKT: CQH) fell 9% and 14% in January, respectively.

So what: For almost all of Cheniere's 20 years as a public company, it has been an idea investment. First it was the idea of producing oil & gas, then the idea of importing LNG, then the idea of exporting LNG thanks to the glut of nautral gas from shale. Now, after years of permits and construction we are about to see what Cheniere Energy looks like as an investment with working operations. It's not getting off to a good start. The company announced back on Jan. 14 that the first cargoes from the Sabine Pass facility will be delayed by two months because of instrumentation and wiring issues at the facility. 

Management says that it is working with the construction firm to get the issue resolved, and the complete ramp up of the facility remains on schedule. However, as the company has seen its shares declined more than 66% over the past year, investors are probably on the edge about whether to hang onto this stock in the first place. So any news that operations aren't going swimmingly is going to make people nervous.

LNG Chart

LNG data by YCharts

Now what: Investing in Cheniere Energy before now has been a bet that LNG exports from the U.S. will be a profitable venture, but to be profitable the company will need to be a proficient operator. Any major construction project is going to run into speed bumps like this, so investors probably shouldn't freak out too much now. However, it operational hiccups become the norm, then the idea investment Cheniere once was won't turn out to be as lucrative as we once thought.


Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Cheniere Energy, Inc. Stock Quote
Cheniere Energy, Inc.
$167.56 (3.77%) $6.08
Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. Stock Quote
Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.
$50.31 (3.18%) $1.55

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/18/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.