I keep waiting for a better time to load up on this one again. I've bought and sold a number of times with Ithaca and always come out ahead but right now I just think the timing is wrong. We know the 2013 production guidance, and I think anywhere above $1.50 is paying a bit too much for what we're going to get this year. Which means that anywhere above $1.50 you're pricing in future production increases or you're pricing in a good asset purchase that may or may not happen. Either way, I don't like doing that. As greedy as it sounds, I want to pay a cheap price for what we actually have right now and then get all the potential upside for 'free.'
Which means I want to pay $1.50 so that when the production eventually increases a year and a half from now (this is the North Sea we're talking.. you can never be too conservative in your timing expectations!) I get all that upside. I don't want to pay for the upside today and hope it happens just so that I can have any hope of making any money.
You pay $2 today and you're pricing in some upside, so if the upside doesn't pan out you have about 50 cents worth of downside to eat. If you wait it out and pay closer to $1.50, you're paying a good price for what we actually have and there isn't nearly as much downside that you'd have to eat if things didn't go to plan.
In this case, I keep waiting and I haven't got my chance yet. However, it's not like I'm missing out on any gains either. Ithaca has been pretty much dead money for a while and might continue to be dead money for most of this year.
I'd rather steal some Twin Butte at 52 week lows and collect a dividend for the short term, maybe a flip to be had, and then pick up some Ithaca another day. Long-term potential here is good, and you're probably fine to just hold on. But my feeling is that you'll do better overall if you play something else with better short-term potential and you'll have time to pick up Ithaca later and still get in on all the goodness before any huge production increases happen again. Hopefully get in cheaper than the current price and still have the sweet part of the curve when Stella is closer.