Drilling down for value in energy sector

Executives in the energy sector have had a wild ride over the past three years as oil prices have plummeted then bounced. Difficult at times, surely, yet spare a thought for those running the listed companies that operate deepwater drilling rigs.

The share prices of major offshore rig companies wallow below or near decade lows. Some operators are freighted with onerous debt obligations they cannot easily meet, not to mention equipment that oil companies do not need. SeaDrill and Ocean Rig, both of Norway, have lost 90 per cent of their value this year alone.

No wonder. Daily rental rates for even the most sophisticated deepwater rigs have tumbled 70 per cent, back to prices not seen since 2004. Miserly capital spending by the major oil companies, down more than half to $40bn in the two years to 2016, have not helped.

Adding to this lack of investment from its customers is a bubble of new builds, which is only slowly deflating. Understandably, the market is showing little faith in the underlying value of these rig operators.

US and Norwegian operators trade at just 20 per cent of their stated book values. The market value of US-listed Atwood Oceanics suggests its rigs are worth no more than its constituent steel, according to Fearnley Securities.

That might explain why another US rig company, Ensco, announced it would buy Atwood earlier this month. This week, Transocean followed by striking a deal to acquire Norway’s Songa Offshore for $3.4bn.

This nascent movement towards industry

Article source: https://www.ft.com/content/d218c2de-8258-11e7-a4ce-15b2513cb3ff

Why Edison made job candidates drink a bowl of soup before hiring

American inventor Thomas Alva Edison holding a light bulb in his laboratory. Menlo Park, 1910s.© Getty Images
American inventor Thomas Alva Edison holding a light bulb in his laboratory. Menlo Park, 1910s.

A weird test to be sure, but hey — almost 1,100 patents later, Edison must have been on to something.

Quotes in the article

EDNR

Some people ask unusual interview questions. Others use the undercover interview technique. Others check out the condition of your car. A few ask an extremely aggressive, even off-putting question. Deciding who to hire is part science, part art — even if you actually are a scientist.

Take Thomas Edison. When he interviewed candidates for research assistant positions, he offered them a bowl of soup. Why? He wanted to see whether they would add salt or pepper to the soup before they tasted it.

Those who did were automatically ruled out. Edison wanted people who didn’t make assumptions, since assumptions tend to be innovation killers.

Many people use little tests as part of their evaluation process. For years I used what I called the “receptionist test.” Interviewees give you their best: They’re up, engaged, and switched on. But how do they act when they aren’t trying to impress you? What candidates do while they’re waiting in your lobby can tell you a lot.

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/careersandeducation/yes-thomas-edison-actually-made-job-candidates-try-a-bowl-of-soup-before-he-would-hire-them/ar-AAqaX4H?srcref=rss

Man loses job after he’s outed as Charlottesville protester



A posted note below the menu on the doorway at Top Dog, a popular fast food chain just off the University of California Berkeley campus notified customers that an employee, Cole White, who appeared in pictures at a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia no longer works at their place of business.


© JOHN G. MABANGLO, EPA
A posted note below the menu on the doorway at Top Dog, a popular fast food chain just off the University of California Berkeley campus notified customers that an employee, Cole White, who appeared in pictures at a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia no longer works at their place of business.

A man has lost his job at a hot dog eatery with a strong libertarian bent in Berkeley, Calif., after photos of him taken at a gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., surfaced on social media.

Top Dog, a chain of three fast-food restaurants, said Cole White “voluntarily” resigned after management was alerted that he participated in a rally Friday night at the University of Virginia in which white supremacists carried tiki torches and shouted Nazi slogans.

Within hours, Top Dog placed fliers in its eateries stating: “Effective Saturday 12th August, Cole White no longer works at Top Dog. The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog. We believe in individual freedom and voluntary association for everyone.”

A “Unite the Right”

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/companies/berkeley-worker-loses-job-after-hes-outed-as-charlottesville-protester/ar-AAqaAxQ?srcref=rss