Questions for the Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited AGM (if you can make it)

Onshore oil installationGulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (LON:GKP) has deservedly caught some flack for its corporate governance and investor relations over the last few years.

It seems as though the message hasn’t fully gone home yet, as although this year’s AGM is closer than Bermuda, where last year’s meeting took place, it’s still overseas for the majority of the firm’s shareholders, in Paris (France, not Texas!).

That aside, the firm’s turbulent year and the recent mass exodus of directors, including the FD and CEO, deserves some questions, in my view.

I’ve put together a list of three questions I’d like to hear Chairman Simon Murray address at the meeting in a new article for the Motley Fool. To read the full article, click here.

Would A Martian Buy Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited?

Onshore oil installationFind me a more opinionated bunch of investors than Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (LON:GKP) shareholders (and their oppos in the ‘bargepole’ camp), and I’ll be amazed.

The company regularly tops the list of most active forums on the ADVFN website, and is also often one of the monthly most traded stocks at retail brokers like TD Direct.

The bull story is simple, if a little more protracted than usual: GKP has a whopper of an oil field, and sooner or later (preferably sooner) a big oil company will come along and write out a fat cheque, making all the GKP shareholders rich.

The problem is that there’s far too much historical framing and loss aversion going on, in my view. How many of today’s GKP shareholders would invest in the firm today, at today’s price?

Come to that, what would be a reasonable price?

In a new article for the Motley Fool, I’ve taken an initial stab at valuing GKP’s business using industry-standard metrics that enable comparisons to other comparable businesses.

I hope the results won’t surprise you too much, but they might – click here to read the full article.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for information only and is not intended as investment advice. The author may own shares in the companies mentioned in the article. Do your own research or seek qualified professional advice before making any purchase decisions.

Shire PLC vs. AbbVie Inc: this could get messy

Pills or drugs in a bottleLast week, I penned an article for the Motley Fool suggesting that shareholders should heed the lessons of the AstraZenecaPfizer takeover battle, and should sell their Shire PLC (LON:SHP) shares while the going was good — at AbbVie‘s offer price, except in cash, rather than cash plus US shares.

My view was that it was greedy and highly speculative to wait for a higher offer from AbbVie, and that Shire’s share price was likely to fall heavily if AbbVie’s efforts eventually failed (the deadline for a firm offer is July 18).

Today saw AbbVie increase their offer to 11%, but to my not-especially-great surprise, Shire’s share price actually fell, ending the day nearly 3% lower.

Why was this? In a new opinion piece for the Motley Fool, I explain why — and reiterate my view that after such a strong performance, with a bid premium on top, Shire shares are a strong sell.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for information only and is not intended as investment advice. The author may own shares in the companies mentioned in the article. Do your own research or seek qualified professional advice before making any purchase decisions.

Monitise Plc Slides On Revenue Slowdown — Should You Top Up?

Fifty pound noteMonitise Plc (LON:MONI) shares spent most of Tuesday down by around 12%, before staging a minor recovery later in the afternoon, to end the day down by around 9%.

The reason? The firm admitted that revenue growth is going to be slower than expected this year, following the company’s recent switch away from upfront licence payments to a subscription-based model.

The firm has taken some flak, but in my view, the move to a subscription model was a wise one, as I explained today in a new article for the Motley Fool.

Although it’s still hard to put a meaningful value on Monitise shares, the firm’s revenue growth seems assured and the potential for profit — or an industry takeover — seems clear. If growth investing is your bag, it could be worth a closer look.

To read my full article on today’s news from Monitise, and what it means for shareholders, click here.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for information only and is not intended as investment advice. The author may own shares in the companies mentioned in the article. Do your own research or seek qualified professional advice before making any purchase decisions.

Barclays PLC: Antony Jenkins needs to wield the axe on toxic activities

Fifty pound noteThe signs are that dark pools — share trading venues designed to allow big investors to buy and sell stocks without revealing their hand and thus moving the market — have already had their day, at least in their present form.

Goldman Sachs is rumoured to be considering shutting down its dark pool, and US-based dark pools have been subject to increased regulatory scrutiny in the US, ever since author Michael Lewis hit the bestseller charts once more with his latest tome, Flash Boys, an everyday tale of high-frequency stock trading.

In case you’ve managed to avoid the publicity this book has generated, Lewis suggests that dark pools have become toxic lakes where predatory high-frequency traders lurk, unseen in the shadows but ready to front-run the big investors who were originally attracted to dark pools in order to avoid such ‘toxic’ (the industry term) activities. The allegations made against Barclays by the New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, broadly follow this pattern — so is the bank still a buy?

In a new article for the Motley Fool, I take a fresh look at Barclays PLC (LON:BARC). Having previously nailed my colours to the Barclays mast, has this latest development changed my view — or is it simply time for the bank’s CEO to take a firmer hand?

Click here to read “Could Barclays PLC Receive a BNP Paribas-Style $9bn Fine?” on the Motley Fool website.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for information only and is not intended as investment advice. The author may own shares in the companies mentioned in the article. Do your own research or seek qualified professional advice before making any purchase decisions.