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BUSINESS

g grows heated
ld oil leak in Gulf

or.
nergy has said nothing can
o completely eliminate the
heens. Regulators recently
the leak could last a cenre if left unchecked.
ociated Press investigaear revealed evidence that
worse than the company,
nment, publicly reported
ir secretive response. Preh APs findings, the Coast
vided a new leak estimate
ut 20 times larger than one
e company in a court filing

Army Lt. Gen. Russel


who founded a coalition of
ental groups but is betfor helping restore order
Orleans after Hurricane
aid he wants to see more
ncy from Taylor Energy
overnment. He called the
n-made disaster.
didnt put the (platform)
s incident wouldnt have
, he said.
walked out of the meeting a testy exchange with
o refused to answer when
ked him to explain why the
has downplayed the leaks
environmental impact.
said he was only taking
uestions and told Honore
have to leave if he persisted
his question. Honore left
ue threated to shut this

down.
Earlier, Pecue said the company
cares very deeply about the environment. Taylor Energy says it has
spent more than $480 million on its
efforts to stop the leak.
This event hits home for us, said
Pecue, the last remaining full-time
employee at the New Orleans-based
company.
The public meeting is a requirement of a court settlement that
Taylor Energy reached in September
with environmental groups led by
the New York City-based Waterkeeper Alliance, which accused the
company of withholding information about the leak.
Larissa Liebmann, an attorney
for the Waterkeeper Alliance, said
Taylor Energy knew the risks before
it drilled several wells in a mudslide-prone area of the Gulf.
It wasnt an unforeseen thing,
she said.
Pecue and company-hired experts
made most of the presentations
during the meeting, the first public forum Taylor Energy has hosted
since the leak started more than 11
years ago.
Taylor Energy, once one of the
Gulfs largest operators, sold all its
offshore leases and oil and gas interests in 2008. Its founder, Patrick
Taylor, died in 2004. The company
is led by his widow, Phyllis Taylor, a
prominent philanthropist and political donor.

reports quarterly earnings

mpleted
mondmercial
ng the

h was
ncludf First
shares
5 perquarion, or
e year.
or the
FCBI
$185.4
t.
results
growth
quarter
reflect
of our
CEO
We
us our
ducing

and expenses.
Southwests total assets
were $2.4 billion at the
end of the fourth quarter,
up $297 million from Sept.
30, 2015. Total loans were
$1.8 billion at the end of
the fourth quarter, up $231
million from the end of the
previous quarter.
Southwest Bancorp said
it had eight consecutive
quarters of loan growth.
Its quarterly net interest
margin improved to 3.48
percent at Dec. 31, 2015,
compared to 3.34 percent
at the end of the previous
quarter.
Cash and cash equivalents were $78.1 million as
of Dec. 31, up $9.5 million
from three months earlier.
Also on Tuesday, Southwest directors declared a
quarterly cash dividend of

ter.
On Wednesday, the
companys stock closed
up 59 cents to $16.12 per
share, a 3.80 percent gain.
OKSB remains the only
stock with material energy
exposure that we are
recommending, and we
dont see anything in these
results to dissuade us from
that stance, analyst Joe
Fenech with Hovde Group
wrote in a report. Setting
energy aside for a moment,
the company is improving
the profitability profile as
promised, which should
translate
to
multiple
expansion over time. In the
meantime, the valuation,
coupled with a significant
capital cushion to help
absorb any potential problems should the situation
worsen from here, offers

THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM

Q&A WITH LADONNA SINNING


LAW EXTENDS BUSINESS EQUIPMENT
DEPRECIATION SAVINGS THROUGH 2019
Q: Congress late last year
extended the bonus depreciation expense. What is bonus
depreciation and what does it
mean that it was extended?
A: Bonus depreciation was
introduced almost 15 years ago as
a temporary economic stimulus
tool. Congress hoped permitting faster depreciation on new
property used in the U.S. would
incent additional capital investment. The bonus depreciation has LaDonna
generally expired at the end of
Sinning
A CERTIFIED PUBLIC
each year with Congress extendACCOUNTANT, CERing it, retroactively, in December.
TIFIED FRAUD EXAMINER AND PARTNER
This happened again in 2015
AT EDMOND-BASED
when Congress extended the
ARLEDGE AND ASSOCIATES ACCOUNTING
bonus depreciation retroactively
FIRM
to Jan. 1, 2015. However, this time
Congress didnt stop at extending
the law for just one year. The law is now extended
through 2019, allowing businesses to plan for the
deduction and, hopefully, allowing the law to better
serve its intended purpose of encouraging capital
investment.

Q: How much does bonus depreciation help


with the cost of investing in new equipment?
A: Bonus depreciation permits a business to
deduct 50 percent of the cost of property placed in
service during 2015, 2016 and 2017. The percentage
falls to 40 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2019.
Theres no cap on the amount of depreciation or the
cost of the property involved. Therefore, savings in
the year of purchase for qualifying property can be
substantial. For example, the acquisition of a $10
million item can result in an immediate deduction of
$5 million in addition to depreciation expense on the
remaining $5 million. Depending on the tax bracket
of the taxpayer, the savings can be quite high.

Q: Isnt there another depreciation rule


referred to as Section 179?
A: Section 179 is a permanent part of the tax
code that, under the law passed in December,
allows up to $500,000 in qualifying asset purchases to be expensed in the year of purchase. This
deduction, however, is targeted toward small businesses as the deduction phases out after $2 million
in assets are bought in a single year. The deduction
also is limited by taxable income.

Q: It sounds like companies can reduce their


tax bill considerably by simply buying assets. Is
that correct?
A: Yes. But generally you only should invest in
assets you need, and would buy without consideration of the tax consequences. Nevertheless, these
deductions do provide some incentive to accelerate
purchases into years where you expect to have
higher tax liability. Each tax situation is unique and
not all assets qualify for these deductions, so check
with your tax adviser before making decisions.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER

State Grains

CASH WHEAT
5 to 6 cents lower. 3.87-4.27
Alva . . . . . . . . . 4.10 Banner. . . . . . . 4.13
Buffalo. . . . . . . 4.10 Cherokee . . . . 4.13
Clinton . . . . . . . 4.02 Davis . . . . . . . . 3.87
El Dorado . . . . 4.27 El Reno . . . . . . 4.09
Frederick. . . . . 3.97 Geary . . . . . . . . 4.09
Hobart . . . . . . . 3.97 Hooker. . . . . . . 4.12
Keyes . . . . . . . . 3.94 Lawton . . . . . . 3.97
Manchester . . . . 4.12 Medford . . . . . 4.17
Miami. . . . . . . . N/A Okarche . . . . . 4.09

SOYBEANS
Alva . . . . . . . . 8.02 Buffalo. . . . . . 8.02
Hooker. . . . . . 7.79 Medford . . . . 8.04
Miami. . . . . . . .N/A Ponca City . . . 8.04
Shattuck. . . . 7.99 Stillwater . . . 8.07
Gulf. . . . . .9.38 1/2
CORN
$3.33-$3.77 per bushel.