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Pipeline Buybacks and ESG Flexibility

Targa Resources, a perennial mis-allocator of capital, is not an obvious candidate to initiate a buyback program. Nonetheless they did on Monday, and the stock rose almost 11% on the news. In February last year, when Joe Bob Perkins was CEO, he responded to questions about their capex plans by arrogantly calling them “capital blessings.” This reflected an attitude that building new infrastructure and buying assets was part of their mission, regardless of whether such projects made financial sense.
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The Smart Money In Pipelines

With pipeline stocks having their worst month since the depths of Covid-panic selling in March, investors are wondering when the smart money will finally respond to today’s extreme undervaluation and commit capital. Recent price action makes little sense, something that becomes very apparent in discussions with clients. 2Q20 earnings were as expected, and dividends unchanged. The yield on the American Energy Independence Index, the most representative index of North American midstream energy infrastructure, is now over 10%.
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The Great Reversal?

Last week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told state health officials to prepare for vaccine distribution as soon as November 1. “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” was first spoken by President Gerald Ford following Nixon’s resignation under threat of impeachment in 1974. But it could equally apply to Covid in 2020.
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