Crane to split into two companies!

Crane plans to split into two independent public companies

Crane (CR) announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a plan to pursue a separation into two independent, publicly-traded companies to optimize investment and capital allocation, accelerate growth, and unlock shareholder value.

Upon completion, Crane Co.’s shareholders will benefit from ownership in two focused and simplified businesses that are both leaders in their respective industries and well-positioned for continued success:

Crane Co. will be a leading global provider of mission-critical, highly engineered products and solutions, with differentiated technology, respected brands, and leadership positions in its markets.

After the separation, Crane Co. will include the Aerospace & Electronics and Process Flow Technologies businesses.

This year, these businesses are expected to generate approximately $1.9B in annual sales with a pre-corporate Adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 18.5%.

The company will be well-positioned to accelerate organic growth in its large and attractive end markets, benefit from favorable secular trends, and apply its proven processes to drive growth through new product development and commercial excellence.

Richard Teller Crane, Founder of Crane Co.

Crane Co. is expected to have a strong, well-capitalized balance sheet underpinning a capital deployment strategy focused on supporting the company’s organic and inorganic strategic growth objectives, while providing a dividend in-line with peers.

Crane Co. will be led by Max Mitchell, who will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer, with Rich Maue continuing to serve as Chief Financial Officer.

The company intends to continue to be listed on the NYSE under its current ticker symbol, “CR”.

Crane NXT will be a premier Industrial Technology business with substantial global scale, a best-in-class margin profile, and strong free cash flow generation.

This year, the Payment and Merchandising Technologies business that will become Crane NXT is expected to achieve approximately $1.4 billion in sales with a pre-corporate Adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 28%.

In addition to its market leading brands, Crane NXT will differentiate itself through its technology leadership, positioning it to leverage long-term secular drivers including automation, security and productivity, across several high-growth adjacent markets.

After the separation, Crane NXT will be positioned to drive earnings growth through continued investment in the business and value-enhancing bolt-on acquisitions. Its balance sheet and strong free cash flow will also allow it to support a robust and differentiated level of capital return to shareholders that is expected to include a competitive dividend.

Crane NXT’s shares are expected to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “CXT”. A process is currently underway to identify Crane NXT’s chief executive, including evaluation of both internal and external candidates.

The executives currently leading Crane’s PMT business will continue to serve in senior positions with Crane NXT.

The separation is expected to occur through a tax-free distribution of the Aerospace & Electronics and Process Flow Technologies businesses to the Company’s shareholders.

Payment & Merchandising Technologies will be renamed Crane NXT concurrent with the separation, and the Aerospace & Electronics and Process Flow Technologies businesses will retain the Crane Co. name.

Upon completion of the separation, shareholders will own 100% of the equity in both of the publicly traded companies.

The separation is expected to be completed within approximately 12 months of this announcement, subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions and final approval of the separation by Crane Co.’s Board of Directors. Shareholder approval is not required.

Crane Co. will maintain its current capital deployment policies until the separation is completed.

CR is up $2.50 to $112.63.

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Exxon gets into plastic recycling!

 Exxon Mobil announces plans to build plastic waste recycling facility

Exxon Mobil (XOM) plans to build its first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas, and is expected to start operations by year-end 2022.

A smaller, temporary facility, is already operational and producing commercial volumes of certified circular polymers that will be marketed by the end of this year to meet growing demand.

The new facility follows validation of Exxon Mobil’s initial trial of its proprietary process for converting plastic waste into raw materials.

“We’ve proven our proprietary advanced recycling technology in Baytown, and we’re scaling up operations to supply certified circular polymers by year-end,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “Availability of reliable advanced recycling capacity will play an important role in helping address plastic waste in the environment, and we are evaluating wide-scale deployment in other locations around the world.”

To date, the trial has successfully recycled more than 1,000 metric tons of plastic waste, the equivalent of 200M grocery bags, and has demonstrated the capability of processing 50 metric tons per day.

Upon completion of the large-scale facility, the operation in Baytown will be among North America’s largest plastic waste recycling facilities and will have an initial planned capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year.

Operational capacity could be expanded quickly if effective policy and regulations that recognize the lifecycle benefits of advanced recycling are implemented for residential and industrial plastic waste collection and sorting systems.

ExxonMobil is developing plans to build approximately 500,000 metric tons of advanced recycling capacity globally over the next five years.

In Europe, the company is collaborating with Plastic Energy on an advanced recycling plant in Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France, which is expected to process 25,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year when it starts up in 2023, with the potential for further expansion to 33,000 metric tons of annual capacity.

The company is also assessing sites in the Netherlands, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Canada, and Singapore.

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Rig Counts Rise!

Baker Hughes reports U.S. rig count up 5 to 287 rigs

Baker Hughes (BKR) reports that the U.S. rig count is up 5 from last week to 287 with oil rigs up 6 to 211, gas rigs down 1 to 73, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 3.

Baker Hughes has been reporting weekly rig counts for more than 50 years

The U.S. Rig Count is down 543 rigs from last year’s count of 830, with oil rigs down 485, gas rigs down 60 and miscellaneous rigs up 2.

The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is down 1 to 13, down 8 year-over-year.

The international offshore rig count for April 2018 was 194. Stockwinners
An international offshore rig

The Canada Rig Count is up 3 from last week to 83, with oil rigs up 2 to 42, gas rigs up 1 to 41.

The Canada Rig Count is down 64 rigs from last year’s count of 147, with oil rigs down 60, gas rigs down 4.

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Rig Counts Rise – See Stockwinners.com Market Radar to read more

Brent crude is down $0.84 to $41.62 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is down $0.93 to $39.70 per barrel.

Gasoline last traded at $1.13 per gallon down three cents.

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Toronto’s WSP Global buys Ecology & Environment

Ecology & Environment to be acquired by WSP Global for $65.1M

Ecology and Environment announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with WSP Global, pursuant to which WSP will acquire E & E for cash.

EEI sold for $65.1M, Stockwinners

E & E has approximately 775 employees, predominantly in offices across the United States, with an additional presence in Latin America. With its US operations representing approximately 80% of its 2018 $US 73.5 million in net revenues, E & E’s portfolio includes work on the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan, Climate Change Adaptation Planning in San Mateo County, California, and work on large federal programs with agencies including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Navy.

Under the terms of the agreement, E & E’s shareholders will receive $15.00 in cash, and a special dividend of up to 50c, for each share of Class A and Class B common stock they own. The special dividend is conditioned on and will be paid following the completion of the transaction and is subject to downward adjustment in certain circumstances.

WSP buys EEI for $65.1 M.

Under the terms of the Agreement, the merger consideration is approximately $US65.1 million in the aggregate, including a special dividend of approximately $US 2.2 million.

The merger agreement and the transaction have been unanimously approved by E & E’s Board of Directors.

In addition, E & E’s founders Frank Silvestro, Ronald Frank and Gerald Strobel, a trust affiliated with E & E’s late founder Gerhard Neumaier, each member of E & E’s Board of Directors and affiliates of Mill Road Capital have all signed voting agreements in support of the transaction.

The merger consideration, together with the special dividend of up to 50c, represents a premium of approximately 52.9% over E & E’s closing share price of $10.14 on August 27, 2019.

The merger agreement provides for a “go-shop” period of 30 days, during which E & E – with the assistance of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated – will contact and potentially enter into negotiations with, and provide due diligence access to, third parties that offer potentially superior proposals to the proposed transaction with WSP.

E & E will have the right to terminate the merger agreement to enter into a superior proposal subject to the conditions and procedures specified in the merger agreement.

There can be no assurance this process will result in a superior proposal. E & E does not intend to disclose developments about this process unless and until the Board has made a decision with respect to any potential superior proposal.

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of E & E’s shareholders and applicable regulatory approvals.

The parties are targeting a closing in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2019, subject to receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.

Alexandre L’Heureux, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP, said, “We are pleased by the opportunity to have E & E join WSP, as we share a similar culture and strategy, centered around employees and clients. This Acquisition, which is in line with our 2019-2021 Global Strategic Plan, will enable us to increase both our Strategic Advisory Services offering and our presence in the United States, most particularly the US governmental sector. E & E, which is recognized for its expertise in environment, has built experience in sectors and services that WSP had targeted for growth, including environmental impact assessment, emergency planning and management, as well as site restoration.”

EEI is up $5.05 to $15.05.

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Anadarko Petroleum sold for $50 billion

Chevron to acquire Anadarko for $65 per share or $33B


Anadarko sold for $50 billion, Stockwinners

Chevron Corporation (CVX) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Anadarko Petroleum (APC) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction valued at $33B, or $65 per share.

Based on Chevron’s closing price on April 11, and under the terms of the agreement, Anadarko shareholders will receive 0.3869 shares of Chevron and $16.25 in cash for each Anadarko share.

Chevron sees synergies of $2 billion, Stockwinners

The total enterprise value of the transaction is $50B.

“The acquisition of Anadarko will significantly enhance Chevron’s already advantaged Upstream portfolio and further strengthen its leading positions in large, attractive shale, deepwater and natural gas resource basins.

Furthermore, Western Midstream Partners, LP (WES) is a successful midstream company whose assets are well aligned with the combined companies’ upstream positions, which should further enhance their economics and execution capabilities.”

Chevron’s Chairman and CEO Michael Wirth said, “This transaction builds strength on strength for Chevron. The combination of Anadarko’s premier, high-quality assets with our advantaged portfolio strengthens our leading position in the Permian, builds on our deepwater Gulf of Mexico capabilities and will grow our LNG business.

It creates attractive growth opportunities in areas that play to Chevron’s operational strengths and underscores our commitment to short-cycle, higher-return investments.

This transaction will unlock significant value for shareholders, generating anticipated annual run-rate synergies of approximately $2 billion, and will be accretive to free cash flow and earnings one year after close,” Wirth concluded.

“The strategic combination of Chevron and Anadarko will form a stronger and better company with world-class assets, people and opportunities,” said Anadarko Chairman and CEO Al Walker.

“I have tremendous respect for Mike and his leadership team and believe Chevron’s strategy, scale and operational capabilities will further accelerate the value of Anadarko’s assets.”

The acquisition consideration is structured as 75% stock and 25% cash, providing an overall value of $65 per share based on the closing price of Chevron (CVX) stock on April 11.

In aggregate, upon closing of the transaction, Chevron will issue approximately 200M shares of stock and pay approximately $8B in cash. Chevron will also assume estimated net debt of $15B.

Total enterprise value of $50B includes the assumption of net debt and book value of non-controlling interest.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of the year. The acquisition is subject to Anadarko (APC) shareholder approval. It is also subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Upon closing, the company will continue be led by Michael Wirth as chairman and CEO. Chevron will remain headquartered in San Ramon, California.

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Rig counts rise in March

Baker Hughes announces March international rig count of 1,039, up 12

The international offshore rig count for April 2018 was 194. Stockwinners
The international offshore rig count rises in March, Stockwinners

Baker Hughes (BHGE) announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for March 2019 was 1,039, up 12 from the 1,027 counted in February 2019, and up 67 from the 972 counted in March 2018.

The international offshore rig count for March 2019 was 247, down 3 from the 250 counted in February 2019, and up 62 from the 185 counted in February 2018.

The average U.S. rig count for March 2019 was 1,023, down 26 from the 1,049 counted in February 2019, and up 34 from the 989 counted in March 2018.

The average Canadian rig count for March 2019 was 151, down 79 from the 230 counted in February 2019, and down 67 from the 218 counted in March 2018.

The worldwide rig count for March 2019 was 2,213, down 93 from the 2,306 counted in February 2019, and up 34 from the 2,179 counted in March 2018.

Crude oil is up 2 cents to $62.12 per barrel.

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ExxonMobil to increase its Permian Basin output

Exxon Mobil to increase Permian output to 1M barrels per day by 2024

ExxonMobil to increase its Permian Basin output, Stockwinners

ExxonMobil (XOM) said it has revised its Permian Basin growth plans to produce more than 1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day by as early as 2024 – an increase of nearly 80 percent and a significant acceleration of value.

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ExxonMobil expects to make 10% return on its Permian Basin fields at $35 per barrel oil, Stockwinners

The size of the company’s resource base in the Permian is approximately 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels and is likely to grow further as analysis and development activities continue.

ExxonMobil’s investments in the Permian Basin are expected to produce double-digit returns, even at low oil prices.

At a $35 per barrel oil price, for example, Permian production will have an average return of more than 10 percent.

The anticipated increase in production will be supported by further evaluation of ExxonMobil’s Delaware Basin’s increased resource size, infrastructure development plans, and secured capacity to transport oil and gas to ExxonMobil’s Gulf Coast refineries and petrochemical operations through the Wink-to-Webster, Permian Highway and Double E pipelines.

Among the company’s key advantages in the Permian, is its acreage position.

The company has large, contiguous acreage that enables multi-well pads in large development corridors connecting to efficient gathering systems, reducing development costs and accelerating production growth.

ExxonMobil’s scale, financial capacity and technical capabilities enable the company to maximize the value of the resource. ExxonMobil is actively building infrastructure to support volume growth.

Plans include construction at 30 sites to enhance oil and gas processing, water handling and ensure takeaway capacity from the basin. Construction activities include central delivery facilities designed to handle up to 600,000 barrels of oil and 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day and enhanced water-handling capacity through 350 miles of already-constructed pipeline.

The investment plans will also bring great benefits to the local area. ExxonMobil’s expansion in the region will benefit communities in West Texas and southeast New Mexico through billions in property tax revenue, economic development and the creation of high-paying jobs.

ExxonMobil remains one of the most active operators in the Permian Basin and has 48 drilling rigs currently in operation and plans to increase its rig count to approximately 55 by the end of the year.

Increased use of technology, including enhanced subsurface characterization, subsurface modeling and advanced data analytics to support optimization and automation, will help the company reduce costs, improve its development plan and increase resource recovery.

Crude oil is up 5 cents to $56.64 per barrel. XOM last traded at $80.22.

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EQGP Holdings sold for $20.00 per share

Equitrans Midstream to acquire EQGP Holdings for $20.00 per unit in cash

Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN) announced that it has entered into definitive purchase agreements with certain unitholders of EQGP Holdings (EQGP) to acquire limited partner interests in EQGP for $20.00 per unit in cash, which is a 17.5% premium to the EQGP closing market price as of November 29, 2018.

The Private Purchases are expected to close on or about December 31, 2018, after which ETRN and its affiliates will own more than 95% of the outstanding EQGP Common Units. Upon closing of the Private Purchases, ETRN intends to exercise the Limited Call Right under EQGP’s partnership agreement to acquire all remaining EQGP Common Units not then owned by ETRN and its affiliates.

If the Limited Call Right is exercised, the remaining holders of EQGP Common Units will receive at least the same cash price per unit that will be paid in the Private Purchases.

The Limited Call Right is expected to close in January 2019 and will be a taxable transaction for EQGP unitholders.

ETRN intends to use the cash proceeds from a newly issued Term Loan B to finance the Private Purchases and the purchases pursuant to the Limited Call Right.

ETRN has secured committed financing in support of these purchases. ETRN also announced that it has made a proposal to EQM Midstream Partners (EQM) for the exchange of its incentive distribution rights and the economic general partner interest in EQM for 95 million units in EQM and a non-economic general partner interest in EQM, subject to the closing of the Private Purchases and completion of the Limited Call Right.

ETRN expects that a portion of the units received will be in the form of Payment-In-Kind Units.

The PIK Units would receive distributions in the form of additional PIK Units and would convert on a one-to-one basis into common units representing limited partner interests in EQM at a date to be determined.

Final terms of the Proposed IDR Transaction are subject to negotiation with the board of directors of EQM’s general partner or its conflicts committee, and assuming an agreement is reached, ETRN expects that the Proposed IDR Transaction would close in the first quarter of 2019.

Upon completion of the Private Purchases, the Limited Call Right, and the Proposed IDR Transaction, ETRN will have accomplished a full simplification of EQGP and EQM, resulting in a projected 61% ownership of EQM.

Additionally, EQM will be the only publicly traded partnership under ETRN and is expected to benefit from the elimination of the IDR burden, as well as stronger coverage and balance sheet metrics.

Highlights: The proposed transactions would not result in a distribution cut for EQM unitholders; Targeting 6% – 8% annual distribution growth beginning in 2019; 2019 distribution coverage in excess of 1.0x; Long-term distribution coverage target in excess of 1.2x beginning in 2020; Long-term debt to EBITDA target of 3.5x – 4.0x beginning in 2020; PIK Units will provide balance sheet and coverage support; Improves cost of capital; No equity issuance is required to fund capital projects for the next several years; Reduces corporate overhead associated with the elimination of a publicly traded entity.

ETRN expects that the EQM Conflicts Committee will review the Proposed IDR Transaction. Unitholder voting is not required in connection with the Private Purchases, the exercise of the Limited Call Right, or the Proposed IDR Transaction.


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WildHorse Resource sold for $3.977 billion

Chesapeake to buy WildHorse Resource in $3.977B cash and stock deal

WildHorse Resource sold for $3.977 billion, Stockwinners
WildHorse Resource sold for $3.977 billion, Stockwinners

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and WildHorse Resource Development (WRD) today jointly announced that Chesapeake has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WildHorse, an oil and gas company with operations in the Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk formations in southeast Texas, in a transaction valued at approximately $3.977B, based on yesterday’s closing price, including the value of WildHorse’s net debt of $930M as of June 30, 2018.

At the election of each WildHorse common shareholder, the consideration will consist of either 5.989 shares of Chesapeake common stock or a combination of 5.336 shares of Chesapeake common stock and $3 in cash, in exchange for each share of WildHorse common stock.

The transaction was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each company.

The deal is projected to double adjusted oil production by 2020 from stand-alone adjusted 2018 estimates, increasing to a projected range of 125,000 to 130,000 barrels of oil per day in 2019, and 160,000 to 170,000 bbls of oil per day in 2020; Chesapeake’s 2020 projected adjusted oil production mix is expected to increase to approximately 30% of total production, compared to approximately 19% today; Increases projected EBITDA per barrel of oil equivalent margin by approximately 35% in 2019 and by approximately 50% in 2020, based on current strip prices; $200M-$280M in projected average annual savings, totaling $1B-$1.5B by 2023, due to operational and capital efficiencies as a result of Chesapeake’s significant expertise with unconventional assets and technical and operational excellence; incremental savings through elimination of redundant corporate overhead, gathering, processing and transmission synergies and improved capital markets execution due to improved credit metrics.

Upon closing, Chesapeake shareholders will own approximately 55% of the combined company, and WildHorse shareholders will own approximately 45%, depending on the consideration elected.

Chesapeake expects to finance the cash portion of the WildHorse acquisition, which is expected to be between $275M and approximately $400M, through its revolving credit facility.

The transaction, which is subject to shareholder approvals from both companies and customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first half of 2019.


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Barrick Gold acquires Randgold

Barrick acquires Randgold in all-stock deal, sees ‘industry-leading’ company

Barrick Gold acquires Randgold, Stockwinners
Barrick Gold acquires Randgold, Stockwinners

Barrick Gold (ABX) announced that it has reached agreement on the terms of a recommended share-for-share merger of Barrick and Randgold Resources Limited (GOLD).

The merger is subject to approval by both sets of shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

It is intended that the merger will be implemented by means of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement of Randgold Resources and the Randgold shareholders under Article 125 of the companies Law 1991, with the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Randgold being acquired by Barrick.

Under the terms of the merger, each Randgold shareholder will receive 6.1280 new Barrick shares for each Randgold share.

Following completion of the merger, Barrick shareholders will own approximately 66.6% and Randgold shareholders will own approximately 33.4% of the new Barrick Group on a fully-diluted basis.

The company said, “The Merger will create an industry-leading gold company with the greatest concentration of Tier One Gold Assets in the industry, led by a proven management team of owners. Superior operating metrics, including the highest Adjusted EBITDA margin and the lowest total cash cost position among Senior Gold Peers, will support sustainable investment in growth and shareholder returns.”

The merger is expected to close by Q1 2019.

Following completion of the merger: John Thornton, Executive Chairman of Barrick, will become Executive Chairman of the New Barrick Group; Mark Bristow, Chief Executive Officer of Randgold, will become President and Chief Executive Officer of the new Barrick Group; Graham Shuttleworth, Finance Director and Chief Financial Officer of Randgold, will become Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the new Barrick Group; Kevin Thomson, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategic Matters of Barrick, will become Senior Executive Vice President, Strategic Matters of the new Barrick Group; Two-thirds of the directors of the board of the new Barrick Group will be nominated by Barrick, and one-third will be nominated by Randgold.


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Ocean Rig sold for $2.7B

Transocean to acquire Ocean Rig for $2.7B including debt

 

Ocean Rig sold for $2.7B, Stockwinners
Ocean Rig sold for $2.7B, Stockwinners

Transocean (RIG) and Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (ORIG) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Transocean will acquire Ocean Rig in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2.7B, inclusive of Ocean Rig’s net debt..

The transaction consideration is comprised of 1.6128 newly issued shares of Transocean plus $12.75 in cash for each share of Ocean Rig’s common stock, for a total implied value of $32.28 per Ocean Rig share, based on the closing price on August 31, 2018.

This represents a 20.4% premium to Ocean Rig’s ten-day volume weighted average share price.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company.

Transocean intends to fund the cash portion of the transaction consideration through a combination of cash on hand and fully committed financing provided by Citi.

The merger is not subject to any financing condition. Upon completion of the merger, Transocean’s and Ocean Rig’s shareholders will own approximately 79% and approximately 21%, respectively, of the combined company.

No changes to Transocean’s board of directors, executive management team, or corporate structure are anticipated as a result of the acquisition.

The Company will remain headquartered in Steinhausen, Switzerland, with significant operating presence in Houston, Texas, Aberdeen, Scotland and Stavanger, Norway.

The transaction, which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019, is subject to the approval of both Transocean and Ocean Rig shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.

The merger is not subject to any financing condition.

Also, consistent with the Company’s strategy of recycling less competitive rigs, Transocean will retire two of its floaters, the ultra-deepwater drillship C.R. Luigs and the midwater floater Songa Delta.

The rigs will be classified as held for sale and will be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. Both floaters are currently stacked.

Transocean anticipates re-ranking the combined fleet, which may result in additional rigs being recycled.


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Willbros Group sold for $100M

Primoris to acquire Willbros Group in all-cash transaction

 

Primoris to acquire Willbros Group, Stockwinners.com
Primoris to acquire Willbros Group,

Primoris Services Corporation (PRIM) announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Willbros Group (WG) in an all-cash transaction.

Primoris will pay 60c per share for all of the outstanding stock of Willbros and will settle all of the existing Willbros debt obligations, for an enterprise value of approximately $100M.

Willbros is a specialty energy infrastructure contractor serving the Oil & Gas and Power industries across its three operating segments: Utility Transmission and Distribution, Oil & Gas, and Canada. Willbros’ infrastructure services platform provides a diverse base of utility, natural gas, and renewable customers with comprehensive engineering, construction, maintenance, repair, and restoration solutions.

Upon completion of the transaction, Primoris expects the Willbros UTD business to become a new operating segment, Primoris UTD, which continues Primoris’ strategic plan for growing its Master Service Agreement revenue base.

Primoris anticipates that Willbros’ Lineal Oil & Gas operations will be incorporated into Primoris’ Utilities & Distribution segment, the Houston-based Oil & Gas facilities operations will become part of Primoris’ Pipeline & Underground segment, and the Canadian business will become part of Primoris’ Power, Industrial, and Engineering segment.

Primoris expects the financial benefits of the transaction to include: For the first 12 months after closing, revenues of approximately $660M, including estimated UTD revenues of $470M, For the first 12 months after closing, EBITDA of $25M, including approximately $7M in annual cost savings, The addition of approximately $400M to Total Backlog, including approximately $300M from the UTD business and within 24-30 months after the closing of the transaction, additional annual cost savings of $7.5 million to $10M.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Willbros and Primoris, each stockholder of Willbros will receive 60c per share in cash, without interest, which represents a significant premium to the closing price of Willbros common stock on March 27, 2018.

In addition, Primoris will settle all of the existing Willbros debt obligations. The transaction has an enterprise value of approximately $100M.

Primoris intends to finance the transaction through cash on hand and its existing credit facilities.

As part of the transaction, Primoris has agreed to provide Willbros up to $20M in secured bridge financing to support Willbros’ working capital liquidity needs prior to the transaction close.

The transaction is subject to approval by Willbros stockholders and certain other closing conditions. In connection with the execution of the merger agreement, certain Willbros directors and stockholders, together representing approximately 17% of Willbros’ outstanding shares, have entered into voting agreements with Primoris, whereby such stockholders agreed, among other things, to vote in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.


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Long Island Iced Tea to rebrand as ‘Long Blockchain Corp.’

Long Island Iced Tea to rebrand as ‘Long Blockchain Corp.’

Long Island Iced Tea to rebrand as 'Long Blockchain Corp.' Stockwinners.com
Long Island Iced Tea to rebrand as ‘Long Blockchain Corp.’

Long Island Iced Tea Corp. (LTEA) announced that the parent company is shifting its primary corporate focus towards the exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology.

In connection with the shift in strategic direction, the company has approved changing its name from “Long Island Iced Tea Corp.” to “Long Blockchain Corp.” and has reserved the web domain www.longblockchain.com.

The company intends to request Nasdaq to change its trading symbol in connection with the name change.

The company will continue to operate Long Island Brand Beverages, LLC as a wholly-owned subsidiary and maintain the focus of this business on the ready-to-drink segment of the beverage industry, specifically, premium, ‘better-for-you’ brands marketed at an affordable price.

In conjunction with the shift in business strategy, the company has submitted a request to the SEC to withdraw its previously filed S-1 registration statement relating to a proposed underwritten public offering, which was filed on November 11, Long Island noted.

LTEA closed at $2.44. It last traded at $12.05 in pre-market trading. This seems to be the bubble mentality at its worse!


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CSX shares downgraded following CEO’s death

CSX CEO death raises questions about strategy, M&A potential

CSX CEO passes away

Shares of CSX (CSX) are off their worst levels of the session and trading fractionally higher following the death of the company’s CEO over the weekend.

 

While the news prompted a stock downgrade to Hold at TD Securities, JPMorgan analyst Brian Ossenbeck argued that Hunter #Harrison’s legacy will continue at CSX and that he sees downside in the stock being limited.
Meanwhile, Cti analyst Christian #Wetherbee pointed out that the death of the company CEO may increase the likelihood of a merger with Canadian Pacific (CP).

 

MOVING TO THE SIDELINES:

Following the unexpected medical leave of absence and subsequent death of CEO Hunter Harrison, TD Securities downgraded CSX to Hold from Buy and lowered its price target on the shares to $54 from $63. The firm argued that senior management now lacks a member with an operating background.

 

LIMITED DOWNSIDE:

Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s #Ossenbeck told investors that he believes Hunter Harrison’s legacy will continue at CSX, reiterating an Overweight rating and $63 price target on the shares. The analyst said he estimates downside in the stock to be limited to $45-$48 based on his below consensus forecasts, with U.S. tax reform and a “tighter truck market” providing positive near-term catalysts.

 

Nonetheless, Ossenbeck acknowledged that the lack of a defined management succession plan remains a near-term hurdle for CSX, and will not likely be addressed until the investor day in first quarter of 2018.

 

Voicing a similar opinion, Baird analyst Benjamin #Hartford said he believes the shares should find support in the $48-$50 level, which is where shares traded during previous periods of transition for the company.

 

While Hunter Harrison’s passing “undoubtedly” introduces incremental risk and uncertainty to the trajectory of CSX’s operating ratio improvement, and it is even more so a “show-me” story given the absence of his leadership, Hartford noted that the PSR model has been put into place, the company employs the talent needed to execute the plan, and there is no reason to diminish CSX’s expectations regarding the pace and magnitude of future progress. He reiterated an Outperform rating and $58 price target on the shares.

 

MERGER WITH CANADIAN PACIFIC

In a research note of his own, Citi’s Wetherbee told investors that he believes the death of Harrison may increase the likelihood of CSX attempting to merge with Canadian Pacific. However, the analyst noted that he is not sure a deal could be accomplished due to elevated regulatory risk.

 

Canadian Pacific and CSX may merge. Stockwinners.com
Canadian Pacific and CSX may merge.

A “large portion of the heavy lifting” related to the start of CSX’s turnaround occurred in 2017, allowing 2018 to be a year focused on executing, he contended, adding that he still believes in the company’s long-term potential. Wetherbee also pointed out that he sees Jim Foote as capable of executing Hunter’s vision, while noting that CSX’s board could move to add seasoned executives in the coming months. The analyst reiterated a Buy rating and $58 price target on the shares.

 

PRICE ACTION

In Monday afternoon trading, shares of CSX are fractionally lower to about $53 per share.


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Barron’s is bullish on Verizon

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

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BULLISH  MENTIONS

 

Rising sales may lift Mondelez (MDLZ)- There is reason to hope that growth is returning to Mondelez, with sales perking up in its latest quarter, especially in the developing markets, Bill Alpert writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. If the company and its new CEO can deliver sales growth, many analysts think Mondelez’s stock could rise to $50 or more, the report notes.

Wheat prices may rise amid cold December – A “brutal cold snap” in December is likely and could lift winter wheat prices higher than $5 a bushel, a rally that would aid the farm economy that has been hurt by steadily falling wheat prices since mid-2012, Simon Constable writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Among companies that benefit from higher crop prices are fertilizer makers Mosaic (MOS) and Agrium (AGU), the report notes.

Infrastructure stocks should rise if Congress passes legislation – It may be easy to be skeptical about President Donald Trump’s ambitious effort to rebuild aging bridges, roads and other elements of the country’s infrastructures, but there is reason for hope, John Kimelman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. For investors in a group of about a dozen infrastructure companies such as Vulcan Materials (VMC) and Fluor (FLR), legislation cannot be considered soon enough, he contends. Other companies that may get meaningful boosts include Martin Marietta Materials (MLM), Aecom (ACM), Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC), Granite Construction (GVA), Eagle Materials (EXP), and U.S. Concrete (USCR), Barron’s notes, adding that even equipment companies like Caterpillar (CAT) could benefit.

Tencent still has upside – While Tencent (TCEHY) is up 125% this year, the stock still has lots of upside, Assif Shameen writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

Verizon could return 20% over the next year – A long price war in wireless is easing, which has left Verizon’s (VZ) shares looking cheap, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. They could return 20%, including a dividend yield of 5%, over the next year, he adds.

BEARISH  MENTIONS

Challenges at HP Enterprise loom large– In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that as HP Enterprise (HPE) CEO Meg Whitman prepares to retire in February, the company no longer “has to shut the lights at night to save money.” However, plenty of challenges remain, notwithstanding Whitman’s moves to reconfigure the business, the report notes. The challenges at HP Enterprise loom large, as cloud-computing leaders Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL; GOOG) increasingly buy less HPE gear because they are building their own, the report notes.


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