SM Energy Announces Plans to Divest Williston Basin Assets

SM Energy CompanySM recently announced its intention to divest its Divide County area assets in the Williston Basin. The company also declared that it has hired Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. to run a formal bid process for this purpose.

SM Energy expects the transaction to close by the middle of 2017, subject to an acceptable offer. Production from the Divide County assets for the month of December was 10,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d).

This sale is in line with the company's strategy of generating significant high margin production growth from its operated acreage positions in the Midland Basin and Eagle Ford. SM Energy expects the proceeds from the divestment of the Williston Basin properties and the pending sale of its non-operated Eagle Ford assets to facilitate it to fully fund its drilling program. The funds raised from these sales will provide it with substantial liquidity and the ability to reduce its outstanding debt. This will also increase shareholders' value.

We expect the company's attractive oil and gas investments, balanced and diverse portfolio of proved reserves and development drilling opportunities to create long-term value for shareholders. We view SM Energy as one of the most attractive players in the exploration and production space. Backed by these strong fundamentals, the company has been able to outperform the Zacks categorized Oil & Gas-U.S. Exploration & Production industry in the last one year. SM Energy's stock improved 126.8% during the aforesaid time period, while broader industry gained 65.8%.

SM Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the same space include Braskem S.A. BAK , Suncor Energy, Inc. SU and Noble Midstream Partners L.P. NBLX . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Braskem posted a positive earnings surprise of 107.79% in the last reported quarter.

Suncor Energy posted a positive earnings surprise of 300.00% in the preceding quarter. It had an average earnings surprise of 40.55% in the four trailing quarters.

Noble Midstream Partners posted a negative earnings surprise of 77.78% in the last reported quarter.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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