What: Shares of Plains All American (NYSE:PAA) are up more than 10% as of 3:00 p.m. ET today after selling off hard earlier in the week thanks to lower-than-expected earnings. The jump in Plains stock may be partly because shares are down so much over the past year or so, but today's jump is also potentially sparked by some executives upping their stake in the company.
So what: It's always encouraging when a company's management eats its own cooking, and in a recent disclosure, we saw that several of Plains' team increased their stake. The most notable one was CEO Greg Armstrong, whose holdings rose by 158,000 shares and also bought 1 million shares of managing general partner Plains GP Holdings (NYSE:PAGP). So after months and months of pessimism surrounding this stock, investors are becoming a little more hopeful after this show of confidence in the company.
Now what: Perhaps it's the cynic in me, but I can't help but think that this buying spree is being done to help sell the company's recent decision to raise $1.5 billion in a private preferred share issuance and because of its less-than-stellar results last quarter. Plains has seen distributable cash flow decline as pipeline volumes and price realizations drop, and right now the company is paying out more in distribution than what is coming in the door. Management has said that it believes that the recent move to sell that preferred equity will meet all of its capital and liquidity needs for the year, but somewhere along the way, it will need to see cash flow increase. Otherwise, the company could be headed for a distribution cut.
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