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On Mar 7, 2014, Atlas Resource Partners LP (ARP - Snapshot Report), a master limited partnership, declared the closure of the earlier announced common units offering. The partnership priced the 6,325,000 common units at $21.18 a piece. Moreover, the over-allotment option of the underwriters for purchasing 825,000 extra common units was fully exercised.

The partnership will likely utilize the proceeds – roughly $129.0 million − for financing the purchase of natural gas properties from GeoMet Inc., an upstream operator. Atlas Resource might also allocate part or whole of the funds toward normal partnership activities.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-located Atlas Resource is primarily involved in the exploration and production of liquid and natural gas. The partnership executes upstream operations in U.S.-based basins. The operating segments of Atlas Resource are Gas and oil production, Well construction and completion and Gathering and processing. On Feb 27, 2014, the partnership reported weak fourth-quarter 2013 results. Atlas Resource reported loss per unit of 77 cents, wider than the year-ago loss of 53 cents. The reported figure was also wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 3 cents per unit. Substantially higher operating expenses hampered the results.

Currently, Atlas Resource Partners retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next 1 to 3 months.

Meanwhile, one can look at better-ranked players in the oil exploration and production industry like Range Resources Corporation (RRC - Analyst Report), Warren Resources Inc. (WRES - Snapshot Report) and Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (AXAS - Snapshot Report). Range Resources and Warren Resources sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Abraxas Petroleum carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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