Saturday, May 14, 2016

Following on Linn Energy's Bankruptcy, EXCO "Explore Strategic Alternatives" (LINE; XCO)

EXCO was down 58.8% on Friday, to $0.72.
Back in the 2008 glory days it traded over $20.
Linn is being quoted at 12 cents, it traded at $40 in 2013 when the income deals were hot.
From Reuters via Fortune, May 12:

"Linn Energy Just Filed for Bankruptcy"
It’s one of the biggest victims of global commodity rout.

Oil-and-gas producer Linn Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, becoming one of the biggest victims of global commodity rout, and said it had an agreement with senior creditors to recapitalize the company.

Under the plan with creditors, Linn will spin off Berry Petroleum, acquired in 2013 for $4.3 billion to create one of the largest independent energy producers.

The company said lingering weak energy prices prompted the Chapter 11 filing, and it expects its operations to continue while it is in bankruptcy court.

“Like many others in our industry, Linn has been impacted by continued low commodity prices. We believe that these steps will provide us the financial flexibility to successfully manage in the current commodity price environment,” CEO Mark Ellis said in a statement.

Linn Energy, which was founded in 2003 and went public in 2006, has about $10 billion in debt, about twice that of Samson Resources Corp and Energy XXI Ltd, two of the largest oil-and-gas companies to file in the current downturn.
Linn said it had sufficient cash to support its operations during its bankruptcy.

The company was designed as a high-yield energy investment vehicle, which received beneficial tax treatment in return for paying out the bulk of its profits as distributions to its unitholders.

Because of this structure, the company took on significant debt to grow through acquisitions. Since 2006, the company has done 62 deals for a total of around $17 billion to build its asset base....MORE
And from Haynesville Play, May 13:
EXCO Resources announced last night that it is forming a special committee of the board of directors to among "other things, assess the Company’s operating and financial situation and to evaluate, develop and recommend one or more strategic alternatives."

Often, the market reacts positively to the phrase "exploring strategic alternatives" because it is usually code that the company is putting itself up for sale.  Or, as in this case, the market barfs because it means that the company is in worse shape than previously believed.  So far this morning, the stock has dropped more than 35%.  But XCO had been on a good run this week, so it's really just going down to the price where it had been for the past couple of months.  In any case, the news was jarring and will take a little while to be "priced into" the stock....MORE