Wednesday, March 18, 2009

U.S. Energy Corp. Update

On Monday, U.S. Energy Corp. (Nasdaq: USEG) filed its 10-K and released its highlights for 2008, most of which we noted here when they were announced individually. Today the company held its conference call. CEO Keith Larsen mentioned that the company's Gillette, WY real estate development was currently 95% occupied, and is generating $225k in rental revenue per month. He also noted that the local economy in Gillette remained strong1, despite the national downturn. Larsen also noted that the current low oil and natural gas prices offered promising opportunities to sign new exploration and production deals.

If the conference call was any indication, investor interest in USEG, such as it was, appears to have declined significantly. This may have been the shortest quarterly conference call I have listed to, by any company. There was exactly one question (I would have asked a question2, but I was listening via streaming audio on the Internet). Other signs of a decline in investor interest:

- The company's Investor Hub message board has four posts in the last four months, all by the moderator.

- The company's Yahoo! message board hasn't had a post since January 27th.

Based on its year-end balance sheet data, USEG is currently trading for less than its net cash.

The photo above comes for U.S. Energy Corp's website. You can read more details on the company's interests in Molybdenum, Oil & Natural Gas, Uranium, Geothermal, and its Gillette, WY real estate project on the projects section of the company's website.

1As of January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wyoming's unemployment rate was 3.7%, the lowest in the nation.

2My question would have been about what cost-cutting plans (if any) the company had in mind to get closer toward profitability from the cost side.

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