BP Lands Back in Court, Dish’s Board Drama, and 3 More Hot Stocks
BP (NYSE:BP): Plaintiffs in Texas will be presenting arguments to a jury as a part of a lawsuit in which residents near the Texas City refinery formerly owned by BP claim that the company’s release of toxic gases exposed them to potential health dangers. The suit could put a $10 billion settlement charge on BP, though this is separate from a 2005 explosion at a plant that killed 15 and cost the company $2.1 billion. The lawsuit alleges BP could have shut down a unit that caused the release but refused to do so because it would have led to $20 million in lost revenue.
Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH): Gary Howard resigned from Dish Network’s board due to a disagreement with how the company proceeded with its bid for LightSquared. Though acquisitions are commonplace, Dish CEO Charlie Egren stands to benefit as the holder of some of LightSquared’s debt, putting the company’s bid for the company front and center. Howard was on a special board committee formed to vet the LightSquared deal because of the potential conflict of interest on Ergen’s end, The Wall Street Journal said.
PetroChina (NYSE:PTR): PetroChina’s joint venture, China Oil & Gas, has denied a local newspaper report that said one of its former executives is being investigated as part of the government’s expansive corruption probe. Earlier this month, the government said it was investigating Jiang Jiemin for ”serious discipline violations,” or graft, in the U.S.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS): ”We have high expectations for Jack Sparrow’s next adventure and we want to have all the right elements in place,” Disney exec Sean Bailey said in a statement regarding the next installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. “We’re not there yet.” Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has now been pushed back indefinitely; it was originally slated for a July 10, 2015, release.
Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI): A 45-page report produced by Hedgeye analyst Kevin Kaiser claims that Kinder’s overriding strategy is to “starve the assets of routine maintenance expenses and capex in order to maximize [distributable cash flow]” and has cut nearly in half the amount of maintenance capital it spends on the pipeline assets the company acquired in its 2012 purchase of El Paso, Seeking Alpha reports. Hedgeye says that by cutting or deferring maintenance spending, general partner KMI is getting more payments than it deserves.