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Independent energy firm, PetroQuest Energy Inc. (PQ - Snapshot Report), announced the pricing of senior notes of $200.0 million due to mature in 2017. The company also declared that the notes will carry a yearly interest of 10.0%.

The notes are expected to be issued at 100% of their face value plus accrued interest since Mar 1, 2013. PetroQuest Energy added that the net proceeds from this offering will be used to finance the company’s planned acquisitions of some oil and gas producing properties, which are based in the Gulf of Mexico's shallow water area. The assets will be purchased from Hall-Houston Exploration II LP, Hall-Houston Exploration III LP, Hall-Houston Exploration IV LP and GOM-H Exploration LLC, for a total cash consideration of roughly $193.0 million. The remaining net proceeds, if any, will be used by the company for common corporate purposes.

The sale of the notes is expected to be closed by Jul 3, 2013, but is subject to customary closing conditions.

PetroQuest Energy’s first-quarter 2013 earnings per share came in at 4 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 2 cents by 100.0%. The better-than-expected result was mainly due to the improvement of total daily production along with significantly lower depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses.

Lafayette, La.-based PetroQuest Energy engages in acquiring, producing, exploring and developing natural gas and oil reserves, which are located in the Arkoma Basin, East Texas, South Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow water area.  

PetroQuest Energy currently retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), implying that it is expected to significantly outperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Other operators in the exploration and production sector with a favorable Zacks Rank are Oasis Petroleum Inc. (OAS - Snapshot Report), Sanchez Energy Corporation (SN - Snapshot Report) and Sandridge Mississippian Trust II . All these companies presently carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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