Michael Fitzsimmons • 59 Comments
Jul. 31, 2015, 7:46 PM
- Giants Exxon Mobil (XOM -4.5%) and Chevron (CVX -4.9%) finished significantly lower at the close after each attempted a midday rally, in the wake of earnings misses marked by the continuing crude supply glut and price pressure.
- Oil ETFs fared not much better today: USO -3.2%, OIL -3.7%.
- Producers have key differences that make for advantages and disadvantages, like Chevron's downstream cushion. Exxon's edge over Chevron, Liam Denning notes: M&A. Its stock is down just 19% over the past year while the sector has tumbled 47%.
- As oil's selling point -- big cash distribution -- gets squeezed, Exxon is in relatively good shape. It's still raising its dividend, and it's cut its projected Q3 buybacks to just $500M (vs. zero for Chevron, Shell and BP).
- Exxon says it shops worldwide, but the U.S. may be a more natural hunting ground. Possible targets? According to Wolfe Research's Paul Sankey, Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD -2.4%) and Hess (HES -2.2%).
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM
- Previously: ConocoPhillips -3.3% as dividend gets scrutiny out of earnings (Jul. 31 2015)
- Previously: Chevron -1.8% as earnings tumble, paced by $2.2B upstream loss (Jul. 31 2015)
- Previously: Exxon Mobil off 1.8% premarket after lowest profit since 2009 (Jul. 31 2015)
Jul. 16, 2015, 2:57 PM
- Global oil majors have $150B of firepower than can be used for M&A and have the ability to defer another $325B in capex on marginal projects; with so much cash available for potential deals and up to 15M bbl/day of production potentially available for purchase, Goldman Sachs analyst Ruth Brooker sees a pickup in M&A activity in the oil and gas space coming soon.
- The firm thinks shale production has the potential to double by 2025, and Brooker argues majors likely will take the current opportunity to increase their exposure to U.S. shale at historically low prices.
- Goldman sees seven companies as most likely to draw buyout attention from the majors: EOG, PXD, CLR, COG, NBL, APC, RRC.
Apr. 8, 2015, 7:30 PM
- Analysts say Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) move to buy BG Group is telling potential acquirers that one of the biggest players is now confident enough to make a big play, and that the worst may be over in the big slide in oil and gas prices.
- The deal also may be the starting gun for a wave of M&A activity that oil industry observers have been predicting since crude prices started to slump in June.
- For starters, BG's U.S. shale assets likely will become candidates for divestiture after the Shell deal closes; in buying BG, Shell has made the choice to double-down on global liquefied natural gas and de-emphasize U.S. shale.
- Among the biggest players, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and BP could contemplate deals - perhaps even with each other, as has been speculated, since BP ranks among the cheapest major producers relative to estimated profit.
- BG itself could whet the appetite of XOM's Rex Tillerson, who recently said there was "no limitation" to what he might buy - but he will be especially selective after getting burned by 2010's XTO purchase.
- Companies with prime acreage in oil-rich shale fields in Texas, North Dakota and Colorado have become a lot cheaper in recent months; Anadarko (NYSE:APC), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Occidental (NYSE:OXY), Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) and Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF) are among those at topping analysts’ lists.
- Galp Energia (OTC:GLPEF) may draw interest from buyers because, like BG, it offers access to oil assets in Brazil.
Nov. 17, 2014, 3:59 PM
- In the wake of Halliburton's (NYSE:HAL) $34.6B offer for Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), it appears the next hot sector for M&A action is energy: More consolidation is likely, given the weakness for stocks in the oilfield services subsector, low interest rates, and as a drop in demand for oil increases cutthroat pricing competition.
- Speculation is running rampant as investors try to figure out who is next in an industry that is sure to undergo some more consolidation; some names identified as possible candidates include Kodiak Oil and Gas (NYSE:KOG), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), Northern Oil and Gas (NYSEMKT:NOG), Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD).
- GE could go after National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) to show it is serious about the energy industry after last year’s purchase of pumpmaker Lufkin, Royal Bank of Canada says, and Oppenheimer says even BP could be an acquisition candidate.
- But Morgan Stanley does not see offshore drillers getting in on the action, as larger players like Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO), Transocean (NYSE:RIG) and Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) are still addressing dividend concerns while smaller companies such as Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) and Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) still trade close to replacement value.
Sep. 30, 2014, 10:34 AM
- The positive market reaction following Encana's deal for Athlon Energy and other recent transactions may put pressure on inventory short majors and other large-cap companies to pursue M&A activity to increase their quality inventory in the U.S. onshore market, according to a UBS report.
- UBS lists six top potential targets, some of which already are swirling in the rumor mill, including Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), with its own fracking fleet and huge Midland Basin play making it a very attractive but expensive target.
- The firm's other five top M&A candidates: COG, CXO, OAS, RRC, WLL.
Sep. 8, 2014, 6:43 PM
- The energy sector has seen little M&A activity despite a growth shortfall and cheap borrowing rates, but UBS analysts think a focus on incremental returns may lead to less exploration and more deals as resource prices on the market have fallen.
- The firm figures four large-cap E&P companies - Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) - could prove tantalizing acquisition targets, but the buyer likely would need very deep pockets.
- In the case of EOG, UBS says the company's strong position in the three biggest tight oil plays - the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian - make it a perfect fit for an integrated major looking to expand in those areas.
Aug. 4, 2014, 5:15 PM
- Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) agrees to sell its Hugoton and Barnett Shale assets for ~$495M, part of its move to focus on its oil-related Spraberry/Wolfcamp assets in the Permian Basin in west Texas.
- Linn Energy (NASDAQ:LINE) is buying PXD's Hugoton Shale assets for $340M, while an unnamed private company is buying the Barnett Shale assets for ~$155M.
- LINE says its acquisition in the Hugoton Shale would make it the largest producer in the field, as it would acquire ~235K net acres, all held by production, with ~1,200 producing wells; meanwhile, LINE is selling its rights to the Woodford and Meramec horizons in the STACK play on ~26K undeveloped acres in the Anadarko Basin for ~$90M.
- Earlier: Pioneer Natural Resources beats by $0.07, misses on revenue.
Oct. 29, 2013, 2:34 PM
- More takeover talk lifts shares of Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD +3.2%), as a Bloomberg profile says the energy explorer with more than 7,000 wells in the Permain Basin is the hottest oil play in the U.S., seconding a notion from John Paulson.
- PXD's proven reserves and production in low-risk, predictable areas mean suitors would have to offer at least a 30% premium, or ~$275/share, analysts say.
- ConocoPhillips (COP), Chevron (CVX) and Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) may be looking to expand their Permian acreage, and buying PXD would accomplish that while giving them more expertise in unconventional drilling techniques; only such a large, integrated company can afford the large amount of capital needed to fully develop the resource.
Oct. 25, 2013, 8:59 AM
- Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) agrees to sell its Alaska subsidiary to Caelus Energy for $550M, which PXD says will allow it to strategically redeploy capital to its core Spraberry/Wolfcamp asset.
- With the redeployment of capital from the Alaska asset sale, PXD says it will increase the Spraberry/Wolfcamp horizontal rig count to 10 in 2014.
- Net production from the Alaska subsidiary averaged ~4K boe/day over the first nine months of 2013.
- PXD expects to record a Q4 non-cash loss of ~$350M on the sale.
Aug. 12, 2013, 8:54 AM
- Pioneer Southwest Energy (PSE) agrees to a merger that would make it a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSE's operating company, Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), through a stock-for-unit exchange.
- The transaction is expected to result in 3.95M additional shares of common stock being issued by PXD.
- PSE +0.1%, PXD -0.3% premarket.
May 7, 2013, 7:16 PM
Pioneer Southwest Energy Partners (PSE) +19.4% AH after Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) proposes to buy all outstanding shares it doesn't already own through a stock-for-unit exchange that values PSE at ~$1.1B. PXD currently owns ~52.4% of the 35.7M-plus outstanding common units of the limited partnership.| May 7, 2013, 7:16 PM
Oct. 18, 2012, 12:32 PM
Natural gas prices likely will remain range-bound at $3-$4/MMbtu until there's a structural change on the demand side, Oppenheimer's Daniel Katzenberg says. But that doesn't mean the sector will be boring, as he anticipates M&A activity will pick up, expecting attention in Bakken and Permian names such as WLL, KOG, AREX and PXD.| Oct. 18, 2012, 12:32 PM | 2 Comments
Jul. 15, 2011, 5:25 PM
In the current low growth, cheap money economy, Jim Jubak thinks it's worth adding an M&A component to your investment portfolio. But how to find winners? He suggests focusing on sectors such as coal and iron mining, where supply (and growth) are hard to find, or chemicals and software games, where there are lots of players with small market shares. Acquisition candidates include ATVI, HK and PXD.| Jul. 15, 2011, 5:25 PM | 1 Comment