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ConocoPhillips Agrees to Acquire Concho Resources for $9.7 Billion

·4 minuto per la lettura

ConocoPhillips, an independent oil and gas exploration company, said it will acquire the U.S. shale oil producer Concho Resources in an all-stock transaction valued at $9.7 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, each share of Concho Resources common stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 1.46 shares of ConocoPhillips common stock, representing a 15% premium to closing share prices on October 13, the company said.

“The 15% premium for the acquiree compares favourably with recent transactions, such as Devon’s merger with WPX, but is modest by historical standards. Until recently, we would have considered a premium of 20%-30% to be the norm for an exploration and production company takeover,” said Dave Meats, director at Morningstar.

“But the environment for E&Ps has deteriorated recently, following the pandemic-related collapse in crude prices. And for Concho specifically, the upcoming presidential election could be more of a threat than it is for most shale companies because Concho has much more exposure to federal land than its peers do,” Meats added.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

ConocoPhillips shares ended 3.16% lower at $32.7 on Monday; the stock is down about 50% so far this year. Concho Resources shares closed 2.75% lower at $47.26 on Monday; the stock is down about 46% so far this year

ConocoPhillips stock forecast

Twelve analysts forecast the average price in 12 months at $47.91 with a high forecast of $56.00 and a low forecast of $37.00. The average price target represents a 46.51% increase from the last price of $32.70. From those 12 equity analysts, 11 rated “Buy”, one rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $47 with a high of $69 under a bull scenario and $23 under the worst-case scenario. Citigroup raised their stock price forecast to $39 from $37 and Truist Securities upped their price objective to $55 from $52.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. ConocoPhillips had its target price decreased by stock analysts at Bank of America to $46 from $50. The brokerage currently has a “neutral” rating on the energy producer’s stock. KeyCorp started coverage on ConocoPhillips, issuing an “overweight” rating and a $46.00 price objective for the company. At last, Raymond James raised their target price to $48 from $46 and gave the company an “outperform” rating.

Concho Resources stock forecast

Twelve analysts forecast the average price in 12 months at $67.73 with a high forecast of $79.00 and a low forecast of $55.00. The average price target represents a 43.31% increase from the last price of $47.26. From those 12 equity analysts, 11 rated “Buy”, one rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $64 with a high of $81 under a bull scenario and $22 under the worst-case scenario. Citigroup lowered their stock price forecast to $67 from $72 and JP Morgan establishes December 2021 price target of $68 vs December 2020 price target of $65.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Concho Resources had its target price dropped by Bank of America to $65 from $70. The firm presently has a “buy” rating on the oil and natural gas company’s stock. Mizuho downgraded Concho Resources from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $68 to $69.

Analyst Comments

“ConocoPhillips’ (COP) announced the acquisition of Concho Resources (CXO) fortifies the company’s leadership position within US energy. Pro-forma, a diverse portfolio of low-cost resource + ESG focus differentiates COP in lower growth, returns focused shale ‘era.’,” said Devin McDermott, equity and commodities Strategist at Morgan Stanley.

“ConocoPhillips checks all the boxes for sustained outperformance: excellent management, disciplined investment, and consistent return of cash coupled with high quality, low-cost portfolio that can deliver an attractive combination of FCF and growth.”

“Attractive value proposition even in the current commodity price environment with leverage to any rally in oil and with resiliency should price remain low. Strong balance sheet. While management received some investor pushback in 2019 for building an $8 billion strategic cash balance, that disciplined strategy is paying off in 2020 – creating financial and strategic flexibility,” McDermott added.

Upside and Downside Risks to ConocoPhillips

Upside: 1) Higher commodity prices. 2) Upside to Alaska resource discovery. 3) Better well performance in Lower 48 – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Downside: 1) Lower commodity prices. 2) Cost inflation. 3) Alaska discovery has less potential resources than expected. 4) Federal acreage exposure in Alaska. 5) Worse than expected well results in the Eagle Ford, Permian, and Bakken.

Upside and Downside Risks to Concho Resources

Upside: 1) Reduced operating and development costs. 2) Consistent execution. 3) Non-core divestitures, with cash returned to shareholders – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Downside: 1) Downside to Permian natural gas price differentials. 2) Elevated non-operated spending. 3) Regulation preventing development on Federal acreage.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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