Everyone Hates U.S. Stocks ?


Not since the year of the credit crisis have the world’s biggest investors had a lower opinion of American equities.

With interest rates poised to rise and Europe ascending, the percentage of global money managers who are underweight American equities is the highest since 2008, a survey by Bank of America Corp. shows. At the same time, clients of exchange-traded funds have pulled about $14 billion from U.S. equities this quarter and added $29 billion to international stocks, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Souring sentiment is a reversal from the last two years, when money flowing to the U.S. was double that going elsewhere. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index trails virtually every developed market in 2015 as accommodative central-bank policy from Europe to Japan lifts valuations and the Fed winds down programs that helped share prices triple since 2009.

“The U.S. stock market was an island of opportunity for a number of years,” Stacey Nutt, chief investment officer who oversees about $4 billion at ClariVest Asset Management LLC in San Diego, California, said by phone. “It has lost that status, not because it’s negative, but because other places around the world have started becoming more attractive.”

The percentage of money managers holding fewer American stocks than the country’s weighting in benchmark indexes exceeds those overweight by 19 percentage points, according to a March 6-12 poll of 207 money managers in Bank of America’s survey released Tuesday. That compared with a net 6 percent overweight in February.

Better Returns

After beating global stocks every year since 2009, the S&P 500 is up 0.7 percent since January, compared with a 2.1 percent advance in the MSCI World ex-USA Index. The U.S. gauge is on pace for the worst quarterly performance compared with the world index since the third period of 2013.

Better returns elsewhere are luring investors away after American stock ETFs attracted nearly $350 billion in the past two years, compared with the $160 billion that flowed to international equities.

Europe, in particular, has gained favor, as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index has rallied 16 percent so far in 2015, with benchmark indexes in Germany, Portugal and Denmark rising more than 20 percent. The gains came as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi introduced a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) quantitative-easing program aimed at spurring growth and thwarting deflation.

The WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund has absorbed $8.4 billion this quarter, the most among all equity funds. By contrast, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, the biggest ETF tracking the U.S. benchmark gauge, has seen the biggest outflows, with investors withdrawing $31.2 billion.

Mindset Change

A net 35 percent of respondents in Bank of America’s survey picked the U.S. as the worst place to invest in the next 12 months, the most in almost a decade, while the proportion of those favoring Europe jumped to a record 63 percent.

“There has been a mindset change,” Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial Inc., in St. Petersburg, Florida, said by phone. “The crowd now thinks that the quantitative easing program that Draghi has put on is going to do the same as it did here.”

Negative sentiment by fund investors toward U.S. equity markets has been of little consequence for American stocks since the bull market began in 2009. The S&P 500 has risen in five of the last six calendar years, a stretch that encompasses $93 billion in outflows from funds in 2012, when the S&P 500 jumped 13 percent.

Favorably Inclined

Most of the bull-market gains came as individuals plowed money into the fixed-income market after living through the S&P 500’s 57 percent plunge from October 2007 to March 2009. To some investors, skepticism has been the fuel for advances, leaving pools of unconvinced speculators to change their minds and buy as gains snowballed, especially in 2013 and 2014.

Hedge funds have raised their bets against equities, sending a gauge of manager sentiment to the lowest level since October, a survey from Evercore ISI showed. The measure of hedge fund long versus short bets fell to 49.6 in the week ending March 11, from 50.3 the previous week. Its low point in 2014 was reached in October, when the S&P 500 suffered the year’s worst retreat of 7.4 percent from Sept. 18 to Oct. 15.

“I can understand the rationale of being discouraged, thinking the U.S. is not the place to be, but we are still favorably inclined toward the U.S,” Walter Todd, who oversees about $1 billion as chief investment officer for Greenwood, South Carolina-based Greenwood Capital, said by phone.

Relatively higher valuations and a dimmer profit outlook are taking a toll on American stocks. After surging 207 percent during a six-year bull run on the back of Fed stimulus and a doubling in corporate profits, the S&P 500 trades at 18.5 times earnings, near the highest level since 2010. That compares with a multiple of 17 for the MSCI world index.

The proportion of investors in Bank of America’s survey saying U.S. equities are overvalued has reached its highest since May 2000 at a net 23 percent.

‘Europe Better’

Earnings from American companies are forecast to post the first back-to-back profit contractions since 2009 as the dollar’s ascent to highs not seen since the invasion of Iraq hurt sales for firms like Procter & Gamble Co. to Pfizer Inc., analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg show.

By contrast, a net 38 percent of respondents in Bank of America’s survey say that they expect double-digit earnings growth in Europe in the next 12 months.

“It’s U.S. good, Europe better,” John Manley, who helps oversee about $233 billion as chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York, said by telephone. “I wouldn’t say anything bad about the U.S. at this point. If I were pushed, I’d lean toward Europe in the next two years but it wouldn’t be any more than a shallow lean.”

NOTE: Our November New letter:

Out of oil

Out of Gold

Out of Shipping

 Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

November 2014 – 40 % cash position

Year End Review and Forecast


Oil/ Energy

I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.

Have you avoided these sectors – you would have been better off to follow our advice in 2014 and now you have to decide for 2015.

No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email info@jackbassteam.com or

Telephone :  Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

BMO Warns Oilsands Must Cut Costs

The cash costs of oilsands producers must shrink to remain competitive in the “new normal of lower oil prices for longer,” BMO analyst Randy Ollenberger said in a note Monday.

Canadian heavy oil prices fell below US$30 for the first time in more than six years as Bank of Montreal warned that oilsands producers must cut costs.

Most producers will continue producing from existing operations and complete projects under construction

Ryan Jackson/Postmedia News
Energy companies are tightening their belts in the oilsands, slashing budgets, scrubbing and delaying projects, and laying off scores of contract workers.

With oil hovering around US$50 a barrel, the bounce is suddenly missing from Fort McMurray’s step.

Hotel rooms, typically tough to find, are readily available. About $100,000 has been trimmed from the average selling price of a single, detached home in the past year. People are lining up at the food bank in numbers previously unseen. More staff is being hired and food drives are being planned in hope of keeping up with demand. More donations than ever are coming in, but nowhere enough, executive director Arianna Johnson says.


Western Canadian Select fell 59 US cents to US$29.85 at 12:28 p.m. Mountain time, the lowest since Feb. 18, 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The grade’s discount to U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate narrowed 80 US cents to US$13.60 a barrel. Crude futures settled at a six-year low of US$43.88 in New York on concern record supply may strain storage capacity.

The cash costs of oilsands producers must shrink to remain competitive in the “new normal of lower oil prices for longer,” BMO analyst Randy Ollenberger said in a note Monday. The majority of Canada’s crude comes from oilsands in Northern Alberta and is among the most expensive to produce. Companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Cenovus Energy Inc. have cut costs and suspended projects as prices plunged.

“You will see companies do another round of budget cuts if oil settles in the low 40s,” Ollenberger said.

Crude from oilsands is produced from bitumen, which must be dug or pumped out of the ground after it’s melted by steam. The bitumen is upgraded to lighter synthetic crude or is diluted with condensate and shipped by pipeline or rail car thousands of miles to refineries, most in the U.S.

Shell withdrew an application to develop the Pierre River mining project to focus on existing ones, Shell Canada President Lorraine Mitchelmore said in a statement last month. Cenovus suspended construction on Christina Lake Phase G with work to resume when market conditions improve, Chief Operating Officer John Brannan also said last month. Both companies, along with Suncor Energy Inc, have also cut staff to reduce costs.

Cost Savings

Major sources of costs savings that may have been overlooked include lower royalty rates and reduced blending costs, Ollenberger said in his note Monday. Per-barrel costs can be cut with increased production through existing facilities, he said.

Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., among the largest five producers, needs a WTI price of about US$50 a barrel to sustain business with no production declines, Chief Financial Officer Robert Dawson said March 11. Smaller companies are facing financial troubles. Southern Pacific Resource Corp. has defaulted on debt and Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. says it’s in danger of not being able to pay creditors.

Canada’s oilsands production will grow 8.3% this year, the country’s National Energy Board said Feb. 10. Projects to extract bitumen require billions of dollars of up-front investment.

Most producers will continue producing from existing operations and complete projects under construction, Jackie Forrest, vice president of Calgary-based ARC Financial Corp., said in a Jan. 29 e-mail.

WTI crude would have to stay between US$30 and US$35 a barrel for at least six months before wells and mines are shut, Dinara Millington, a vice president at Canadian Energy Research Institute, said Feb. 19.

Oil-Storage Deals Seen Eluding Tankers

Oil Tanker
The industry’s biggest tankers could earn $35,000 a day this year, about $10,000 less than previously estimated
Oil Tanker
The oil tanker BW Luck is berthed near Chemoil Energy Ltd. storage tanks on Jurong Island in Singapore. It costs about $1.10 a barrel to store oil for a month on supertankers, ships known within the industry as very large crude carriers. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Rates for supertankers could be lower than anticipated as the incentive to store oil at sea diminishes, freeing up the vessels to compete for charters, according to RS Platou Markets A/S.
The industry’s biggest tankers could earn $35,000 a day this year, about $10,000 less than previously estimated, the Oslo-based investment bank said in a report on Monday. The higher figure assumed 1 percent of the global fleet would store crude, a trend that’s yet to materialize, said Frode Moerkedal, an Oslo-based analyst at Platou Markets.
Crude prices have plunged as the U.S. pumps the most in three decades and OPEC, supplier of about 40 percent of the world’s oil, keeps its own production steady to retain market share. That’s helped create what’s known as contango, where commodities for immediate supply are so much cheaper than in future months that it rewards traders to store.
“You would only store on a vessel if the onshore inventories were full,” Moerkedal said by phone on Monday. “It seems that the pace of onshore buildouts are slower than expected.”
The global oil market has 377 million barrels of spare onshore storage capacity available, Michael Wittner, the head of oil market research in New York for Societe Generale SA, wrote in an e-mailed report on March 14. That’s an increase of 73 percent from the firm’s February estimate of 218 million spare barrels of capacity available for global land storage. The numbers includes unused storage in China and India and exclude 120 million barrels of pipeline space in U.S.
Demand Gain
It costs about $1.10 a barrel to store oil for a month on supertankers, ships known within the industry as very large crude carriers. Brent for June costs about $1 a barrel more than it does in May, according to data on the ICE Futures Europe exchange compiled by Bloomberg.
Brent for May settlement was 13 cents higher at $54.07 a barrel at 11:48 a.m. Singapore time.
For storage to work, the contango needs to exceed storage costs. A narrowing has prevented an increase in floating storage, the International Energy Agency said in a March 13.
The IEA raised its 2015 estimate of global oil demand by the most since it was introduced in July. Demand will rise this year by 1 million barrels a day, or 1.1 percent, to an average of 93.5 million a day.
While contango for Brent is narrowing, it’s at the widest for almost four years for West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark. This has prompted interest in floating storage in the U.S. Gulf for traders who have licenses to export cargoes to Canada, according to a report e-mailed by shipbroker Charles R Weber on Monday.
Any filling of land storage in the U.S. should only be temporary as refinery throughputs typically rise by a million barrels a day between March and May as refiners return from maintenance before the summer driving season, FBR Capital Markets said in a research note. A reduction in the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. should begin to “affect production by as early as this summer,” it said.

PHM – Our Top 2015 Spec Play : Update / Trading Alert

PHM Announces Execution of Letter of Intent (LOI) to Acquire Another Large Regional Business in Tennessee With $20 Million in Revenue and $4 Million in Adjusted EBITDA



Above Average
As of 16 Mar 2015 at 10:51 AM EDT.

Management to Hold a Conference Call on Wednesday, March 18th to Review Acquisition Pipeline


Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts average  $1.11


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA–(Marketwired – March 16, 2015) -



Patient Home Monitoring (PHM) (TSX VENTURE:PHM), a profitable company with annualized revenues exceeding $55 million focused on rolling-up annuity-based healthcare service companies in the U.S. and Canada, announced it has executed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to acquire a company in Tennessee with unaudited approximate annualized revenues of $20,000,000 and Adjusted EBITDA of $4,000,000(1).

PHM’s Chairman and executive team will hold a conference call scheduled for 1 pm EST, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

PHM also provided updated details on the cancellation of the small $2.25 million annual revenue Georgia business LOI.


The Tennessee Letter of Intent (LOI)

The Tennessee business is a large, regionally-focused company offering home-based medical equipment and services for patients with chronic pulmonary conditions. The business services over 40,000 active patients. After close, PHM plans to start immediately offering cardiology and mobility services to these patients with an eye toward increasing organic revenues and profits of the business.

According to the LOI, PHM will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of the business for cash for a total consideration of $14,348,000. PHM has sufficient cash on the balance sheet to complete the acquisition. Closing the acquisition will be subject to final due diligence and a binding purchase agreement.


The Georgia LOI Cancelled

PHM was unable to reach an agreement on the final terms of the purchase agreement with the Georgia Company, particularly with respect to issues of indemnification.


Summary of Active LOIs

The table below summarizes the current status of PHM and the status of PHM after all LOIs are closed, Further, it summarizes the breakdown of the revenues and Adjusted EBITDA for each acquisition and the cash needed to close the acquisition. PHM plans to use $26,798,000 to close the acquisitions announced. PHM is expected to have over $10,000,000 in cash after all LOIs have closed, with revenues of $96,500,000(2) and Adjusted EBITDA of $19,450,000(2).


Annualized Revenue Annualized Adjusted EBITDA Cash Balance
PHM Today $ 55,000,000 $ 10,500,000 $ 37,000,000
PHM Post-LOIs closed $ 96,500,000 $ 19,450,000 $ 10,202,000
Summary of LOIs Cash To Close
Colorado $ 16,500,000 $ 4,000,000 $ 11,000,000
Oklahoma & Texas $ 5,000,000 $ 950,000 $ 1,450,000
Tennessee $ 20,000,000 $ 4,000,000 $ 14,348,000
Totals $ 41,500,000 $ 8,950,000 $ 26,798,000

“The Tennessee deal is another large acquisition for PHM and, when closed, we will likely have reached our 2015 goal of achieving $100 million in annual revenue earlier than planned,” said Michael Dalsin, Chairman of PHM. “Along with the acquisition, we plan to draw down on a line of credit to ensure we have plenty of cash for further acquisitions.

“In the coming quarters, we are poised to complete the several acquisitions announced this year, almost doubling our revenue, significantly increasing EBITDA, and perhaps most importantly, adding over 90,000 patients to our database,” continued Mr. Dalsin. “After we close all executed LOIs, I expect we will have a cash balance of over $10 million and we will be generating Adjusted EBITDA of close to $20 million per year(1). I expect these numbers will increase once we see the results of cross selling such a large patient database.”

“Considering the small size of the business in Georgia and the potential of significant trailing liabilities,’ concluded Mr. Dalsin. “We have decided that the risk-reward ratio was not in our favor.”


Conference Call March 18, 2015 to Review Acquisition Pipeline

PHM will host an interactive Q&A conference call at 1p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

Participants from PHM will be Michael Dalsin (Chairman), Roger Greene (Vice Chairman), David Hayes (CEO) and Edward Brann (M&A Banker).

The details of the call are:


Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 1p.m. EST

US & Canada Toll Free:

Dial In: (855) 886-8711

Meeting ID Number: 548 01 39

Financial professionals are invited to call in and ask questions. To pre-register as a qualified caller, please e-mail dwilson@myphm.com by 5 p.m. EST Tuesday, March 17th, 2015.


About PHM

The explosive growth in the number of elderly patients in the US healthcare market is creating pressure to provide more efficient delivery systems. Healthcare providers, such as hospitals, physicians and pharmacies, are seeking partners that can offer a range of products and services that improve outcomes, reduce hospital readmissions, and help control costs. PHM fills this need by delivering a growing number of specialized products and services to achieve these goals. PHM is a positive cash flow and profitable company that serves patients with heart disease and other chronic health conditions, this operation is a platform for acquisitions and organic growth. PHM is focused on a highly fragmented and developing market of small privately-held companies servicing chronically ill patients with multiple disease states caused mainly by age and obesity. Because of the new and highly fragmented nature of the market, PHM is actively working to identify and evaluate profitable, annuity-based companies to acquire their patient databases and technical expertise at favorable prices. PHM’s post acquisition organic growth strategy is to increase annual revenue per patient by offering multiple services to the same patient, consolidating the patient’s services and making life easier for the patient. The expected result is growing EPS with each acquisition and growing revenue and profits from the cross selling efforts.


Penn West Petroleum Ltd. : Long Time of Hardship Continues

Image result for oil price cartoons

Dividend: Q1 2015

CDN: $0.01




Change : $ -0.10 (-5.236%)
Vol : 4701451



Change : $ -0.10 (-6.579%)
Vol : 7229947

Tremendous potential – but they used to say the same thing about me.The rout in crude oil is turning out to be more than just a blip, and producers that are feeling the pinch may have to start selling – and Jack A. Bass  predicts a further decline.


The struggle to outlast sub-economic oil prices took another ugly turn Thursday as Penn West Petroleum Ltd. all but eliminated its once-hefty dividend and started discussions to ease the terms of its debt.

The restructured company has gotten so lean, CEO David Roberts said it now offers great “torque” on an oil price recovery.

“The management of this company and the board are strongly aligned with shareholders, with significant amount of personal capital at risk, and focused on redefining oil and gas excellence in Canada,” Mr. Roberts said on a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter results.

But the latest measures continue a long time of hardship at Penn West, which over the past year has undergone a major restructuring to cut costs and re-invent itself as a low-cost producer focused on three conventional light oil plays in Alberta, then had to address an accounting scandal involving previous management that led to a re-examination of financial results for 2014 and four previous years.

By December, just after Mr. Roberts thought the company had finally “turned the corner,” oil price collapsed and “served to overpower our 2014 results,” he said in the call.

Though “we think our path to success is firm,” the company ended the year with a loss of $1.77-billion in the fourth quarter, compared to a loss of $675-million in the same year-ago period, largely due to impairments of goodwill and property, plant and equipment tied to the decline in commodity prices.

Cash flow shrunk to $137-million from $203-million in the same period a year ago.

“Looking ahead, clearly we as an industry are facing a dramatically different commodity price environment today relative to this time last year,” Mr. Roberts said in a statement.

“Operations aside, with crude oil prices ranging between approximately US$43 per barrel and US$55 per barrel since the beginning of 2015, there is now a clear focus on leverage and the balance sheet. At year-end 2014, Penn West was well within its debt covenants, with a senior debt to EBITDA ratio of 2.1 times against a limit of 3.0 times and we were undrawn on our $1.7 billion credit facility.

However, if crude oil prices persist below US$50 per barrel in to the second half of 2015, we do foresee potential challenges complying with our covenants.”

That’s why the highly leveraged company started discussions with lenders and note holders, said CFO David Dyck.

It now has an agreement in principle to ease its financial covenants that involves reducing its $1.7-billion bank facility to $1.2-billion and using up to $650-million of proceeds from asset sales to pay down debt.

In a research report, RBC Dominion Securities Inc. analyst Greg Pardy said the “relaxation of the covenants is positive and will provide the company with additional time to proceed with asset dispositions.” Penn West shares closed at $1.91 in Toronto, down 2¢. The stock has lost 80% of its value in the past year.

To save cash, Penn West, which had a large retail investor base from its past as an income trust, is cutting its dividend to 1¢ a share, from 3¢ expected for the first quarter, down from 14¢ in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company said the reduction is temporary.

Companies across the Canadian sector have cut spending, laid off staff and raised equity and debt to cope with sub-US$50 a barrel oil prices, the result of a price war instigated by Saudi Arabia to take back market share from North American producers. With the latest measures, Penn West is taking the belt-tightening to a new level.

Mr. Roberts said lenders’ decision to “stand with us” through tough times is a result of the company’s successful restructuring.

Penn West sold $1 billion in non-core assets as part of its restructuring and would like to sell more. It plans to invest $650 million this year, primarily directed at its Cardium and Viking core areas, and deliver production of about 100,000 barrels per day.

The adjustments may not even be over. With oil price volatility continuing, spending will be reviewed again in the spring, Mr. Roberts said.

Oil price hasn’t hit bottom yet as surplus expands : Alan Greenspan

The slump in oil prices hasn’t curtailed output, and there is a huge amount bottled up in the U.S., former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday.

Associated Press 
The slump in oil prices hasn’t curtailed output, and there is a huge amount bottled up in the U.S., former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday.

 Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. benchmark futures, will keep rising, he said.

“We are probably at the point now, where at the current rate of fill, we are going to run out of room in Cushing by next month,” he said. “Until we find a way to get out of this dilemma, prices will continue to ease because there’s no place for that oil to go except into the markets.”

West Texas Intermediate futures dropped 1.9% to US$46.17 a barrel as of 9:31 a.m. Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down almost 60% from their June peak.

U.S. crude stockpiles increased for nine weeks through March 6 to 448.9 million barrels, the highest in Energy Information Administration records dating back to August 1982. The nation pumped 9.37 million a day last week, the fastest pace in weekly estimates compiled by the Energy Department’s statistical arm since 1983.


Stockpiles at Cushing rose by 2.32 million barrels to 51.5 million last week, the highest level since January 2013. Cushing has a working capacity of 70.8 million barrels, according to the EIA.

The surplus may soon strain U.S. storage capacity, renewing a slump in prices and curbing its output, the International Energy Agency said in a monthly market report Friday. The IEA boosted estimates for U.S. oil production this year as cutbacks in drilling rigs have so far failed to slow output.

Drillers have idled 653 rigs since the start of December, data from Baker Hughes Inc. show. The number of active machines seeking oil was 922 as of March 6, the lowest since April 2011, the services company said.

“The rigs that have been closing down have not been affecting the capacity to produce crude,” Greenspan said. “You are getting the inefficient rigs shutting down, but the capacity to basically build oil expansion remains there.”

and  we posted this inhttp://www.youroffshoremoney.com

November 2014 – 40 % cash position

Year End Review and Forecast

“Oil/ Energy

I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers. “

No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email info@jackbassteam.com or

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

Our Spec Pick March 2015 : Make Money with Old Sick People

Sick Bed cartoons, Sick Bed cartoon, funny, Sick Bed picture, Sick Bed pictures, Sick Bed image, Sick Bed images, Sick Bed illustration, Sick Bed illustrations

Patient Home Monitoring Corp. (PHM.V)

KEY: Highly focused management, expanding merger and acquisition strategy

Growth story unfolding – still little known

Please check out the website and latest news releases


1.22 Up 0.01(0.83%) 9:53AM EDT
Prev Close: 1.21
Open: 1.21
Bid: 1.22
Ask: 1.23
1y Target Est: N/A
Beta: N/A
Next Earnings Date: N/A
Day’s Range: 1.211.22
52wk Range: 0.22 – 1.27
Volume: 221,662
Avg Vol (3m): 3,312,280
Market Cap: 239.21M
P/E (ttm): N/A
EPS (ttm): -0.03
Div & Yield: N/A (N/A)
Profile Get Profile for:
Patient Home Monitoring Corp.
14724 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 1250
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
United States – Map
Website: http://www.phmhometesting.com

Index Membership: N/A
Sector: Healthcare
Industry: Medical Appliances & Equipment
Full Time Employees: N/A
Business Summary

Patient Home Monitoring Corp. provides and rents in-home monitoring equipment, supplies, and services for patients in the United States. It offers diabetic testing supplies and other medications, power mobility equipment, home durable medical equipment, and respiratory services. The company is headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California.


Fake IRS agents huge Tax Scam


WASHINGTON (AP) — Fake IRS agents have targeted more than 366,000 people with harassing phone calls demanding payments and threatening jail in the largest scam of its kind in the history of the agency, a federal investigator said Thursday.

More than 3,000 people have fallen for the ruse since 2013, said Timothy Camus, a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration. They were conned out of a total of $15.5 million.

The scam has claimed victims in almost every state, Camus said. One unidentified victim lost more than $500,000.

“The criminals do not discriminate. They are calling people everywhere, of all income levels and backgrounds,” Camus told the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing. “The callers often warned the victims that if they hung up, local police would come to their homes to arrest them.”

The scam is so widespread that investigators believe there is more than one group of perpetrators, including some overseas.

Camus said even he received a call from one of the scammers at his home on a Saturday. He said he had a stern message for the caller: “Your day will come.”

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said he got a similar call, but realized it wasn’t a real IRS agent.

“It was a very convincing, convincing phone call,” Isakson said.

So far, two people in Florida have been arrested, Camus said. They were accused of being part of a scam that involved people in call centers in India contacting U.S. taxpayers and pretending to be IRS agents.

“These criminal acts are perpetrated by thieves hiding behind telephone lines and computers, preying on honest taxpayers and robbing the Treasury of tens of billions of dollars every year,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “Taxpayers must be more aware of the risks and better protected from attack and these criminals must be found and brought to justice.”

The IRS and the inspector general’s office started warning taxpayers about the scam a year ago, and it has since ballooned. This year, it tops the IRS list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.

Tax scams often increase during tax filing season, and with millions of Americans preparing their returns ahead of the April 15 deadline, the IRS is seeing many cases of identity theft and refund fraud.

In recent years the IRS has stepped up efforts to detect large numbers of tax refunds going to the same address or bank account. Using computer filters, the agency identified more than 517,000 suspicious returns and blocked $3.1 billion in fraudulent returns, as of October 2014, Camus said in his testimony.

In 2012, the IRS started working more closely with U.S. attorneys’ offices around the country to combat tax refund fraud by people using stole identities, said Caroline Ciraolo, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s tax division. Since then, the tax division has opened nearly 1,000 investigations and brought prosecutions against more than 1,400 people, Ciraolo told the Senate Finance Committee hearing.

“Given the sophistication of this criminal activity and the fact that a lot of it comes from overseas, this looks to me like an emerging type of organized crime,” said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee.

The inspector general’s office started receiving complaints about the telephone scam in 2013. Immigrants were the primary target early on, the IG’s office said. But the scam has since become more widespread.

As part of the telephone scam, fake IRS agents call taxpayers, claim they owe taxes, and demand payment using a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer. Those who refuse are threatened with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license, Camus said.

The callers can manipulate caller ID to make it look like they are calling from an IRS phone number. They might even know the last four digits of the taxpayer’s Social Security number, Camus said.

They request prepaid debit cards because they are harder to trace than bank cards. Prepaid debit cards are different from bank cards because they are not connected to a bank account. Instead, consumers buy the cards at stores, and use them just like a bank card, until the money runs out or they add more.

Real IRS agents usually contact people first by mail, Camus said. And they never demand payment by debit card, credit card or wire transfer.

“Our message is simple,” Camus said. “If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you do not pay immediately, it is a scam artist calling. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by telephone. If you do owe money to the IRS, chances are you have already received some form of a notice or correspondence from the IRS in your mailbox.”

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The U.S. Has Too Much Oil and Nowhere to Put It = another drop in prices


The bottom line: A record 449 million barrels of oil are being stored in the U.S. Shrinking storage capacity will lead to another drop in prices.

Seven months ago the giant tanks in Cushing, Okla., the largest crude oil storage hub in North America, were three-quarters empty. After spending the last few years brimming with light, sweet crude unlocked by the shale drilling revolution, the tanks held just less than 18 million barrels by late July, down from a high of 52 million in early 2013. New pipelines to refineries along the Gulf Coast had drained Cushing of more than 30 million barrels in less than a year.
As quickly as it emptied out, Cushing has filled back up again. Since October, the amount of oil stored there has almost tripled, to more than 51 million barrels. As oil prices have crashed, from more than $100 a barrel last summer to below $50 now, big trading companies are storing their crude in hopes of selling it for higher prices down the road. With U.S. production continuing to expand, that’s led to the fastest increase in U.S. oil inventories on record. For most of this year, the U.S. has added almost 1 million barrels a day to its stash of crude supplies. As of March 11, nationwide stocks were at 449 million barrels, by far the most ever.
Not only are the tanks at Cushing filling up, so are those across much of the U.S. Facilities in the Midwest are about 70 percent full, while the East Coast is at about 85 percent capacity. This has some analysts beginning to wonder if the U.S. has enough room to store all its oil. Ed Morse, the global head of commodities research at Citigroup, raised that concern on Feb. 23 at an oil symposium hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “The fact of the matter is, we’re running out of storage capacity in the U.S.,” he said.

If oil supplies do overwhelm the ability to store them, the U.S. will likely cut back on imports and finally slow down the pace of its own production, since there won’t be anywhere to put excess supply. Prices could also fall, perhaps by a lot. Morse and his team of analysts at Citigroup have predicted that sometime this spring, as tanks reach their limits, oil prices will again nosedive, potentially all the way to $20 a barrel. With no place to store crude, producers and trading companies would likely have to sell their oil to refineries at discounted prices, which could finally persuade producers to stop pumping.
Oil investors appear to be coming around to the notion that a lack of storage capacity could lead to another price crash. In the futures market, hedge funds have spent the past few weeks cutting their bets that oil prices will rise. Instead, they’ve built up a record short position, increasing their wagers that prices will fall. During a March 11 interview on CNBC, Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn said he’s concerned the U.S. is running out of storage, particularly as refineries enter their seasonal maintenance period, to prepare for the summer driving season. Around this time they usually cut the amount of crude they buy. Cohn said prices could go as low as $30 a barrel.
Oil Inventories at Highest Levels We’ve Seen
The math on this can be a bit tricky. The U.S. Department of Energy measures oil storage capacity twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. As of September 2014, the U.S. had 521 million barrels of working capacity, up from 500 million in 2013. That includes the space inside tank farms and on-site at refineries. It doesn’t, however, include the amount of oil that can be stored in pipelines or storage tanks near oil wells; nor does it include the amount of capacity in tankers off the coast, in transit from Alaska, or on trains. Of the 449 million barrels of total crude stocks, about 327 million are stored in tank farms or on-site at refineries.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. is using about 63 percent of its storage capacity, up from 48 percent a year ago. “We have more space than some people tend to believe,” says Andy Lipow, an energy consultant in Houston. The most recent estimate of storage capacity also doesn’t include tanks built since September in North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas, he says.
Still, the amount of space available in the tanks at Cushing is getting tight. The storage hub will run out of room by Memorial Day, says Stephen Schork, who runs energy consulting company Schork Group. As long as oil stays cheap, he says, traders have an incentive to store it. Cushing has room for roughly 71 million barrels of oil, up from about 50 million in 2010. One of the biggest owners of tanks there is Canadian energy distributor Enbridge. “We don’t have much room left, but we’re still answering the phones,” says Mike Moeller, who manages the company’s Cushing tank farm. “Not everybody who calls is going to get space.” He says monthly lease rates in the spot market have gone from dimes per barrel to more than a dollar in some cases.
“These producers have kept chugging away when they should have been shutting down”
Even with prices less than half what they were last summer and storage capacity growing scarcer, U.S. oil output has continued to rise. Through February, U.S. daily crude production reached 9.3 million barrels, about 1 million barrels more than a year ago. The massive storage buildup has provided oil companies with a phantom demand for their crude. Many hedged production before prices got too low, taking out futures contracts that guarantee a certain price. That’s allowed them to sell oil for a price higher than the going rate of $49 a barrel, keeping many profitable despite lower prices.
Running out of room inside the nation’s storage tanks might be the only way to keep companies from pumping more oil. “These producers have kept chugging away when they should have been shutting down,” says Dominick Chirichella, co-president of the Energy Management Institute, a New York-based advisory group. “At some point, the fact that supply is outstripping demand has to have its moment of truth.”

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The Banking Report Card : Stress-Test Results of Top Wall Street Banks



(Bloomberg) – Citigroup Inc.’s plans to return capital to shareholders got the cleanest approval from the Federal Reserve among top Wall Street banks, one year after the firm failed the regulator’s annual stress tests.
Bank of America Corp. got a conditional pass requiring it to shore up internal processes and resubmit its plan for managing capital, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley cleared only after revising proposals, the Fed said Wednesday in a statement.

U.S. units of Deutsche Bank AG and Banco Santander SA failed because of qualitative concerns about their processes. The Fed didn’t place any conditions in passing Citigroup or 24 other firms, including Wells Fargo & Co.
Michael Corbat, Citigroup’s chief executive officer, had staked his job on passing this year’s test after the Fed found the bank’s processes inadequate last year. He spent more than $180 million to improve the bank’s systems and asked Eugene McQuade, a veteran executive with close regulatory ties, to delay his retirement to oversee this year’s submission.
The tests are a cornerstone of the Fed’s strategy to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and another government bailout of the largest U.S. banks. The results released Wednesday are the annual exam’s second and final round, determining whether lenders can withstand losses and still pay dividends, buy back stock or make acquisitions.
Analysts estimated before Wednesday’s results that publicly traded U.S. banks subject to the review were strong enough to boost quarterly shareholder payouts 53 percent on average, disbursing $109 billion over the next 15 months. The Fed didn’t specify how New York-based Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley altered their proposals.
Citigroup’s Payout
Citigroup, which pays a token 1-cent dividend after last year’s failure, will lead increases with a 60-fold jump in quarterly disbursements through dividends and stock buybacks, according to seven analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. While payouts from Wells Fargo and JPMorgan will climb less than average, the rewards will remain the largest among the U.S. banks tested, the estimates show.
Banks can disclose details of their capital plans as early as Wednesday. If all of the banks that passed return the capital they asked for, they will pay out almost 60 percent of their projected income over five quarters, a senior Fed official said.
Failing the test can mean banks have to forgo increases to capital payouts, forcing executives to shore up balance sheets or internal systems while facing shareholders eager for more cash. The U.S. units of Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc failed last year because of the Fed’s so-called qualitative look at risk management, corporate governance and internal controls.
BofA Faulted
Citigroup’s Tier 1 common ratio fell to a minimum of 7.1 percent under the worst-case economic scenario in the test after taking into account the firm’s planned capital actions. With the pass, Corbat, 54, ends a year of turmoil that included the Fed’s rejection of the New York-based bank’s plan last March because of what regulators described as deficiencies in the firm’s processes for projecting revenue and losses across its global operations.
Bank of America’s revenue and loss models and parts of its internal controls were lacking and need to be resubmitted by Sept. 30, the Fed said Wednesday. If the lender hasn’t fixed its capital planning by then, the Fed can restrict payouts.
Bank of America, led by CEO Brian T. Moynihan, disclosed Feb. 25 that regulators had demanded changes to models, including those for wholesale credit, which would probably decrease the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company’s capital ratios. The Fed didn’t say whether the requested changes in models were related to its critique of Bank of America’s stress-test process.
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank Trust Corp. and Santander Holdings USA will be restricted from paying dividends to their foreign parent companies or to any other shareholders. That may not have a significant impact, because a Fed rule approved last year will require foreign banks to inject more capital into their U.S. units by July 2016.
That rule forces the largest foreign firms to consolidate U.S. operations into one subsidiary and abide by the same capital and liquidity minimums as domestic peers. It came after lenders including Deutsche Bank and Barclays Plc dropped the bank holding company status of their primary U.S. units.
Deutsche Bank Trust represents about 15 percent of the parent company’s assets in the U.S., a Fed official said last week. It’s a holding company for several units of the German lender, including a U.S.-based trust business that accepts deposits and groups that provide back-office services to the bank, and doesn’t include the firm’s broker-dealer unit, according to a regulatory filing last year.
Severe Scenario
Past Fed tests let banks make payouts in the four quarters that followed. This time, the test will determine payouts for five quarters.
Last week, the Fed said all 31 banks have sufficient capital to absorb losses during a sharp and prolonged economic downturn. That review didn’t factor in the companies’ capital plans. It was the first time since the central bank started stress tests in 2009 that no firm fell below any of the main capital thresholds.
Goldman Sachs got closest among the top six U.S. banks to breaching regulatory thresholds in the first phrase of the test, surpassing the 8 percent minimum for total risk-based capital by 0.1 percentage point. Morgan Stanley’s ratio in three capital measures fell to within 1 percentage point of the required minimum. Firms can modify their capital plans in the week before the second round results are released.
Goldman Sachs, which paid out the highest percentage of earnings among Wall Street firms in 2014, had to resubmit its capital plan to win Fed approval for a second straight year. The firm has pushed to give back capital to shareholders as it tries to boost return on equity, which has been 11 percent in each of the past three years.
Regulators don’t hold it against firms if their original capital plan is so aggressive that they are forced to resubmit, or if they do it in subsequent years, because it’s now a part of the process, a senior Fed official said.
The Fed subjects banks to two dire economic scenarios, with the most severe downturn marked by a 60 percent plunge in stock indexes, a 25 percent decline in housing prices and an unemployment rate that tops out at 10 percent.
Last week’s results showed that loan-loss estimates for the 31 banks totaled $490 billion under that worst-case scenario, down from $501 billion for the 30 banks tested last year. The losses include a $102.7 billion hit to trading, led by JPMorgan’s $23.6 billion. The heaviest damage was in consumer lending, with 39 percent of projected losses from such activity as mortgages and credit cards.


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