Abraxas Petroleum +4% after Global Hunter upgrade

Abraxas Petroleum (AXAS +3.9%) is upgraded to Accumulate from Neutral with a $4.50 price target, up; from $4, at Global Hunter, which cites "very positive developments on AXAS' conference call coupled with a compelling valuation and organic growth profile."

The firm says AXAS' net debt fell ~41% after the $73M sale of non-operated Eagle Ford assets, which has dropped AXAS's estimated FY 2014 EV/EBITDA multiple to 5.1x vs. small-cap peers at 6x, and has helped push its debt-adjusted production growth/share forecast to 10% in 2014, higher than the industry average of ~7%. (Q4 earnings)

AXAS's inventory footprint also is much improved vs. prior quarters, as the firm now sees future well count more than 2x higher than expected just quarters ago, driven by Eagle Ford success at the emerging Jourdanton prospect.

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