Monday, July 23, 2012


We have recently sold Halliburton from our portfolio. One of the major reasons in doing so had to do mostly with a pending lawsuit with BP. As everyone knows, HAL was listed as a 3rd  party defendant in the BP federal lawsuit. In February, it was ruled that HAL was not responsible for the spill as a third party and that pollution and contamination did originate from HAL property above the land or water. This was a big step for them because it is what could have cost them the most money. But, HAL could still be responsible for punitive damages and civil suits due to possible fraud and breach of contract on their part. If HAL did commit fraud, it is said that BP's indemnity (the money they owe from the spill), could be ruled void. Other sources think that the two companies will just settle because BP has bigger problems to worry about. Regardless of what happens, HAL will definitely have to dip into their own pockets due to countless civil suits from fishing organizations, environmental and wildlife groups, and any other group affected by the spill. These organizations are mainly targeting BP, but BP can get money from HAL for the punitive damages. As a result of this and much more research, we have decided to sell HAL because of the potential downside risk. Although it may not be large, there is definitely a chance that it could be and if it does, it will come without much warning and would have a huge negative effect on the stock price. We feel as if the economic environment is already insecure and we don't need any other downside pressure on this stock.

-John Astarita

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