New CFO and New Auditor

Texas Pacific Land Corporation Announces Chris Steddum to Succeed Robert Packer as Chief Financial Officer :: Texas Pacific Land Corporation (TPL)

Texas Pacific Land Corporation (NYSE: TPL) (the “Company” or “TPL”) today announced that, effective May 31, 2021, Chief Financial Officer Robert Packer will retire after a distinguished 10-year career with the Company. Chris Steddum, TPL’s current Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations, will succeed Mr. Packer as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. The Company has also appointed Stephanie Buffington, TPL’s current Vice President, Accounting, to the newly created role of Chief Accounting Officer. Both appointments will become effective on June 1, 2021. Mr. Packer will serve as an advisor to the Company through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

In addition to these leadership changes, TPL also announced that it has retained Deloitte & Touche LLP (“Deloitte”) to serve as its Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm for the calendar year ending in 2021. The Company’s long time auditors Lane Gorman Trubitt, LLC informed the Company that the firm would not stand for re-election. The Company’s Audit Committee conducted an extensive selection process which included evaluating factors such as: audit quality, technical competency, industry expertise, use of technology and methods of communication. The Audit Committee selected Deloitte from several other well qualified candidates.

Several readers have emailed me with wishes for a Big Four accounting firm. Here it is.

Congratulations Mr. Steddum! No debt or options, thanks!

Talk to Chuck

SCHM, SCHV, SCHX, and SCHB have all taken positions in TPL as of late. SCHM, which has the largest position by shares, is focused on the Dow Jones US Mid-Cap Total Stock Market Index and appears to be passive.

In addition to Schwab, a couple of Manulife large and mid-cap ETFs have also positioned TPL.

S&P 500?

Many have written to me to ask about index inclusion. I’m no expert, but here are some resources:

Hot off the press: Unadjusted market cap minimum for the S&P500 is $11.8B

$11.8B / 7,756,156 shares (is it bad that I that number by heart?) = $1,521.37

S&P500 overview

To be eligible for S&P 500 index inclusion, a company should be a U.S. company, have a market capitalization of at least USD 9.8 billion, be highly liquid, have a public float of at least 10% of its shares outstanding, and its most recent quarter’s earnings and the sum of its trailing four consecutive quarters’ earnings must be positive.

The committee meets monthly. At each meeting, the Index Committee reviews pending corporate actions that may affect index constituents, statistics comparing the composition of the indices to the market, companies that are being considered as candidates for addition to an index, and any significant market events.

Index methodology

• S&P Composite 1500. Using composite pricing and volume, the ratio of annual dollar value traded (defined as average closing price multiplied by historical volume over the last 365 calendar days) to float-adjusted market capitalization should be at least 1.00, and the stock should trade a minimum of 250,000 shares in each of the six months leading up to the evaluation date.

With 252 trading days, the stock needs (1.00 / 252) = 0.4% of shares traded per day on average. See last post for more context on that.

Again, not an expert but it seems like TPL is on its way. Poke holes in the comments! Not trying to spike the football on the current run. As a long time investor, being back to $900 next week would not shock me. This stock jumps. But over the long run, will it get into the 500?

Post Conversion Volume

A rough approximation of daily $ traded value (closing price x volume) and, by extension, percentage of market cap traded shows (though its been hard to miss) that volume is up substantially post conversion. With volume at 70k shares at mid day and the price bouncing off ATH, today will be a another big one.

CVX Ramp Up

Chevron plans to ramp up investment in North America’s biggest oil field through 2025, reversing the pandemic-driven production decline, the company said in an investor presentation Tuesday. Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth surprised investors by restoring the million-barrel Permian target only a year after it disappeared from the company’s guidance as Covid-19 crashed energy markets.

4Q20 and 2020 Earnings

10-K & Press Release

  • Share buybacks back! at discretion of board
  •  7,756,156 shares out as of 1/31/21
  • Quarterly dividends going forward. Starting at $2.75/share. 1% regular div yield
  • $44.8mm net income; $5.77/share
  • Income down $24.3mm vs $4Q19. Primary driver of that was $20.4mm reduction in land sales
  • First month WTI futures were $35.82, $45.10, and $48.46 to close Oct, Nov, and Dec 20 respectively. Compare with 2019 at $54.15, $55.41, and $61.12 over the same three months.
  • Expenses $6.1mm lower Q4 to Q4
  • Water top line down, primarily on price, but so are expenses. Will be interesting to see where water goes from here given consolidation and the long term thinking touted by the E&Ps
  • Largest customer OXY is slowly de-levering and has found some stable ground
  • Search for new compensation consultant being undertaken by comp committee
  • Are the independent directors not paid enough at $24k a piece?
  • $281mm in cash on the balance sheet. Will be ~$250mm after March dividend payment. $250mm = 2.9% of market cap
  • BOE:  2019 = 13,700.  2020 = 16,200 
  • DUC:  2019 = 486.  2020 = 531



Welcome, ETFs

PBSM (0.14%), OSCV (1.06%), IUSS (0.09%), MGMT (2.77%) all appear to have taken positions in Texas Pacific Land Corp as of late. OSCV, IUSS, and MGMT appear to be an actively managed funds. PBSM is a passive fund that tracks the MSCI USA Small Cap Index. The commonality amongst all of these funds is a focus on small cap stocks.

To be sure, these are tiny positions and are in no way responsible for the recent move in share price. That said, these ETFs report positioning daily so as to facilitate create/redeems. Traditional MFs (active and passive) and some active ETFs are not required to report as frequently. We’ll get more clarity after 3/31 filings roll in.

Fun fact: As of this writing, the market cap of TPL is $9.1B. There are currently 36 constituents in the S&P500 with market capitalizations smaller than that of TPL.

Delaware IRRs

Platts:Higher prices lead to better returns, but producers still cautious

The Delaware continues to lead all US shale plays as a stronger Waha price has boosted most of the region’s robust wellhead gas revenue, pushing this region’s IRRs into the 25% area. With IRRs of 20% to 30%, operators will likely start to increase their completion activity quickly in the near term, according to Platts Analytics. Hydraulic fracturing of the approximately 200 drilled-but-uncompleted wells will help Texas and New Mexico operators stabilize the region’s production after the reduction in activity experienced in 2020.

A New Start

Transformation complete! Congratulations to those who worked so hard for this day.

Looking ahead, investors should keep tabs on the board and remain vocal about representation. The 2021 term ends in ~10 months.

Press Release

“A Delaware corporation structure is more aligned with the expectations of today’s investors than the former trust structure and is intended to allow us to execute on business goals and capitalize on our superb assets, resources and business potential,” said David E. Barry, Co-Chair of the Board. John Norris, Co-Chair of the Board, added, “We expect that our enhanced governance framework, in step with practices of publicly traded peer corporations, will foster value creation over time and benefit our stockholders.”

TPL Corporation’s board of directors consists of nine directors. Barbara J. Duganier, Dana F. McGinnis, and Tyler Glover are serving as directors in Class I (with terms expiring at the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders), Donna E. Epps, General Donald G. Cook, USAF (Ret.) and Eric L. Oliver are serving as directors in Class II (with terms expiring at the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders), and David E. Barry, John R. Norris III, and Murray Stahl are serving as directors in Class III (with terms expiring at the 2023 annual meeting of stockholders). Eight of the nine directors are independent under the independence standards established by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the applicable rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the NYSE.


Contribution Agreement

A) Annual Meetings of Stockholders.

(1)  Nominations of persons for election to the Board and the proposal of other business to be considered by the stockholders at an annual meeting of stockholders may be made only (a) pursuant to the Corporation’s notice of meeting (or any supplement thereto), (b) by or at the direction of the Board or any committee thereof, or (c) by any stockholder of the Corporation who (i) was a stockholder of record at the time of giving of notice provided for in these Bylaws and at the time of the annual meeting, (ii) is entitled to vote at the meeting and (iii) complies with the notice procedures and other requirements set forth in these Bylaws and applicable law. Section 2.8(A)(1)(c) of these Bylaws shall be the exclusive means for a stockholder to make nominations or submit other business (other than matters properly brought under Rule 14a-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and included in the Corporation’s notice of meeting and annual meeting proxy statement) before an annual meeting of the stockholders.

(2)  For any nominations or any other business to be properly brought before an annual meeting by a stockholder pursuant to Section 2.8(A)(1)(c) of these Bylaws, (a) the stockholder must have given timely notice thereof in writing and in proper form to the Secretary of the Corporation at the principal offices of the Corporation, (b) such other business must otherwise be a proper matter for stockholder action under the DGCL and (c) the record stockholder and the beneficial owner, if any, on whose behalf any such proposal or nomination is made, must have acted in accordance with the representations set forth in the Solicitation Statement required by these Bylaws. To be timely, a stockholder’s notice must be received by the Secretary of the Corporation at the principal executive offices of the Corporation not earlier than the close of business on the one hundred twentieth (120th) day before the date of the one (1) year anniversary of the immediately preceding year’s annual meeting (which anniversary, in the case of the first (1st) annual meeting of stockholders and solely for the purpose of this Section 2.8(A)(2), shall be deemed November 16, 2021) and not later than the close of business on the ninetieth (90th) day before the date of such anniversary; providedhowever, that, subject to the following sentence, in the event that the date of the annual meeting is scheduled for a date that is more than thirty (30) days before or more than sixty (60) days after such anniversary date or in the event that no annual meeting was held in the prior year, notice by the stockholder to be timely must be so delivered, or mailed and received, not earlier than the close of business on the one hundred twentieth (120th) day before such annual meeting and not later than the close of business on the later of the ninetieth (90th) day before such annual meeting or the tenth (10th) day following the day on which public announcement of the date of such meeting is first made by the Corporation. In no event shall any adjournment or postponement of an annual meeting or the announcement thereof commence a new time period for the giving of a stockholder’s notice as described above.

Permian Highway

The pipeline, which has multiple ownership interests but is operated by KMI subsidiary Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline (KMTP), is fully subscribed under long-term contracts. KMI said PHP provides approximately 2.1 Bcf/d of natural gas capacity, helping to reduce gas flaring in the Permian Basin.