Why Investors In Glencore PLC & Premier Oil PLC Should Cut And Run!

Despite enduring concerns over the health of commodity markets, mining and energy giants Glencore (LSE: GLEN) and Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) have both enjoyed stellar share price gains in recent weeks.

Glencore has seen its stock value thunder 40% higher since February kicked off, while Premier Oil has advanced 12% since its shares commenced trading again at the beginning of the month.

However, I see these advances as nothing more than short-sighted bargain hunting — and in the case of Glencore, a large degree of short-covering — and believe that recent strength represents a plum opportunity for shrewd investors to cash out.

Fossil fuels flail

Indeed, I see it hard to see how either Premier Oil or Glencore can add to recent gains, considering the shocking extent of market imbalances across major commodity classes.

Oil values have received a bump in recent days thanks to rife speculation that a deal between OPEC members and Russia could be in the offing. But quite why the market is pinning its hopes on a deal in the near future is beyond me, I’m afraid, given that both sides — not to mention the US — remain intent on building market share.

Premier Oil made a pre-tax loss of $829.6m in 2015, the firm announced on Thursday, ballooning from the $362.5m loss reported in the prior year. And the tanking oil price also forced the producer to make more than $1bn worth of impairments, mainly related to its assets in the North Sea.

On top of this, Premier Oil advised that “a further relaxation of our main financial covenants may be required” should an environment of low prices endure. The producer is planning talks with its lenders in light of its hammered balance sheet — net debt currently stands at more than $2.2bn.

A diversified dud

Of course Glencore also has exposure to the embattled oil segment, while its dependence on the copper, aluminium, nickel and coal segments also leave it in danger of prolonged revenues pain.

As a result, the company is expected to suffer a 61% earnings decline for 2015 when its results are released on March 1st, a fourth successive annual dip if realised. And an additional 37% fall is anticipated for the current period, resulting in an elevated P/E rating of 42.8 times.

I would consider a reading closer to the bargain benchmark of 10 times to be a better reflection of Glencore’s high risk profile, leaving the stock plenty of space for a severe price downgrade.

Meanwhile, Premier Oil is anticipated to remain in the red for the third year on the trot in 2016 — losses of 7.6 US cents per share are currently forecast. And further losses are predicted for 2017, too.

Given that demand signals from China are likely to keep on disappointing, and that total production across the metals and oil markets continues to head relentlessly higher, I reckon both resources stocks are in danger of plunging to fresh lows in the weeks and months ahead.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.