July 23, 2017

EQT, Rice Energy $8.2 Billion Merger Creates Northeast Gas Giant

20 June 2017, 01:23 | Guillermo Sutton

Rice Energy's stock soars after deal to be bought by EQT in a $6.7 billion deal

EQT Rice Energy Acquisition Highlights

EQT says Rice's acreage footprint is largely contiguous to its existing acreage, which would provide substantial synergies and make the deal significantly accretive in the first year. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Rice Energy by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 16,021 shares of the oil and gas producer's stock valued at $330,000 after buying an additional 8,248 shares during the period. The institutional investor acquired 9,086 shares of the oil and gas producer's stock, valued at approximately $215,000. At the same time, Rice Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:RMP), the master limited partnership that owns and operates the bulk of the gathering and midstream assets that support Rice Energy's production assets, is trading down nearly 28% on the news while EQT Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:EQM) is trading up 5.2%, while EQT GP Holdings LP (NYSE:EQGP) is up 11%. The institutional investor owned 34,769 shares of the oil and gas producer's stock after selling 189,061 shares during the period. Most recently it picked up 53,400 acres in the field from Stone Energy Corp. That represents a premium of about 37.4% to Rice's Friday closing price of $19.69. The company's 50-day moving average is $20.86 and its 200 day moving average is $21.40. Rice Energy Inc. The company's market capitalization is $4.04 billion.

Several brokerage analysts have released ratings on Rice Energy Inc. Waratah Cap Advsr Ltd has invested 1.67% in Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE). The oil and gas producer reported $0.12 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks' consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.10.

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EQT will also assume or refinance around $1.5 billion of Rice net debt or equity. The firm had revenue of $393.81 million during the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $364.60 million. Equities research analysts forecast that Rice Energy will post $0.55 EPS for the current fiscal year. On August 30 the stock rating was upgraded to "Buy" from "Buy" in a report from Seaport Global. As per Friday, March 24, the company rating was initiated by Stifel Nicolaus. If the $27.02 target price is reached, the company's valuation will be $282.10M more. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $26.00 price target on Rice Energy and gave the company a "buy" rating in a research report on Saturday, March 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company's stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $34.00, which represents a potential upside of 34% from where the stock is now trading.

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