Monday, July 16, 2007

Toga! Toga!

[Okay, so you don't get the title. Party on.. Dorfman.. Animal House. Yes, the jokes are obscure and a little dopey, but I've been blogging on energy stocks for 2 and a half years now and I've got to do something to amuse myself.]

NY SUN: Energy Party Is Far From Over.


Mr. Gaines, a former crack institutional energy analyst, a one-time adviser to Carl Icahn in his hostile energy takeover attempts, and no stranger to this column because of his consistent stock-picking prowess, reckons that if you equate energy shares to the human life cycle, the stock group is probably only in its 20s.

Energy fundamentals remain very positive, he notes. "It's Economics 101; you've got growing demand and diminishing supply," Mr. Gaines says. "American production is not being replaced. We, as well as China and India, have an insatiable oil appetite. America still doesn't have a viable energy policy, and given current conditions, the terror and supply disruption premium of about $15 a barrel is not about to disappear any time soon."

In recent years, we've seen forecasts of $100-a-barrel oil from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Boone Pickens. Mr. Gaines, currently CEO of Dune Energy, a Houston-based oil and gas producer, figures that the elusive triple-digit target is likely to become a reality over the next 12 months. Oil closed Friday at around $73.93 a barrel.

Given the surge in energy stocks, Mr. Gaines, who is said to have a personal equities portfolio in excess of $100 million, about 90% of which is in the energy sector, has easily been one of the best stockpickers in this column. Three of his current favorites, each of which he owns, are Allis-Chalmers Energy, Chesapeake Energy, and Comstock Resources. He views all three as potential 25% to 50% gainers over the next 12 months.