Stock Picking-Assessing Total SA

total_brand_block_rgb_0Disclaimer.  I don’t invest real money yet.  I use to pretend to play the stockmarket so I can learn what works, and what doesn’t.

So, I think the way I’m going to begin looking for stocks is to look for low debt, high EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and undervalued.  By undervalued…they aren’t sexy, sought after stocks.  Just solid investments for growth.

My parents were no debt/low debt people.  It served them well.  Instead of paying banks/credit card companies out of their meager incomes, they saved and invested.  They also invested conservatively.  It’s not fun.  It’s boring.  But I saw it work.  My parents got…comfortable, if not wealthy.  (They never told me what they were worth but I can tell they made out well, plus paid of their house, when I was still in grade school).

When the stock market crashed a few years ago, they didn’t lose their shirts either because they were mostly invested in blue chip stuff.

Anyway, so I googled “new companies with low debt and high ebitda”. I google everything.  I find it quite useful.  I found this article from 2012. 

What’s great about the internet is it is a permanent record of many things.  I can look and see if the stocks this guy recommended based on his (my) philosophy have done well or not since he recommended them.  And if they didn’t do well, I can try to figure out why.


Total SA (TOT) is a company that engages in all aspects of the petroleum industry including upstream operations, oil & gas exploration, development & production, downstream operations, refining and marketing and the trading & shipping of crude oil and petroleum products.  It was selling for 57.93 near the end of 2012 and is selling for 47.32 today.  It went up to 73.24 in 2014 at one point but now it’s back down.  Before I go on to look at the other stocks, I will try to find out why it went back down and if it is likely to go back up again.

Yahoo Finance  says in an article written March 1 of this year that Total invested in a company called Renmatix.  Renmatix is involved with supercritical hydrolysis technology for conversion of biomass into economical cellulosic sugar.  The product/process Renmatix makes/uses is used by Total for THEIR operations.  For some reason, this transaction made many of Total’s investors to sell some or all of their stock.  If you read the article, Total sounds like a forward thinking company.  They have diverse holdings in the energy field, including stakes in solar energy.  What’s not to love?

Ok, so the price of oil is down right now.  How long will that last?

Ouch…then I found this:  Total to cut jobs, sell assets after big loss.

2000 job losses upcoming.  Wow.  Crazy, I feel emotional reading this.  Isn’t that strange?  I will have to look at this again another time.  I’m no Warren Buffet am I?


About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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3 Responses to Stock Picking-Assessing Total SA

  1. Ryu says:

    Boy, that stuff is fancy. Complication is the language of the con-man.

  2. geezer says:

    Keep a eye on Alberta , Canada , almost the provinces entire wealth for the last decade has been based on the Tar Sands project with oil production going almost entirely to the States. It should become a classic case of stupidity in action

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