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Author: reverendh Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 40  
Subject: Re: basic overview Date: 11/29/2007 12:54 PM
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Management has announced plans to buy-- a $20 million stock buyback program. As for personally buying, management has plenty of options and does not need to buy shares on the open market to benefit from low prices. The CEO owns a lot of stock outright. The CFO does nothing but exercise and sell his $1.16 options, on a monthly basis, and retains almost no shares.

One other esoteric but important point that has not already been noted is that the company gets absolutely killed by Gabon taxes. Q3 2007 tax expense is 60%, and all of it was paid in cash. Typically with American companies you will see a wide difference between taxes accrued at the statutory rate of 35%, and taxes paid (disclosed at bottom of cash flow stmt)---with payments usually much less. With this company, the two are equal, so there is little hope of the tax rate averaging out to something more reasonable over the long term. MD&A explanation for the very high tax expense in Q3 is that all tax expense is coming from Gabon, and they had very few deductions in Q3, because they were not spending for exploration and development in the country at that time. This would appear to be not good news; one would expect a field to make more money, in cash as well as after tax profits, as it matures to a fully developed status, with fewer cap ex. In the US, the tax rate would be a max of 35%, net of exploration expenses. In Gabon, it appears to be more like 60% net of exploration expenses. So long as the company was spending heavily there, the high tax rate was disguised. This is my analysis of what happened, based on the tiny amount of info they have disclosed.

For 2006, the tax rate was 40%. For the first nine months of 2007, the rate is 62%. For Q3 2007, it was 60%.
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