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On Mar 12, Canadian energy explorer, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM - Analyst Report) completed the divestment of part of its Montney assets, in northeast British Columbia to Progress Energy Canada Ltd. The sale, of about 127,000 net acres, would fetch Talisman Energy cash payment of C$1.5 billion.

However, the company will not exit Montney and has retained about 48,000 net acreage in the area, through its Groundbirch and Saturn assets. This sale was announced last November.

Completion of this transaction, along with other recently closed deals, has resulted in more than $2 billion of divestments for Talisman Energy in the past 12 months.

Further streamlining of the company portfolio is expected as Talisman Energy intends to sell long dated, capital intensive assets worth $2 billion in the coming 18 months. Management stated that the funds generated from these divestments would be used to strengthen the company’s balance sheet.

Talisman Energy is a major independent oil and gas exploration and production company, with operations in North America (primarily Canada) and several international regions. The company conducts its operations in three principal geographic segments: North America, the North Sea and Southeast Asia.

The company however had a disappointing earnings run in 2013. Talisman Energy missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the four quarters and saw a massive average negative surprise of 249.58%. For the most recently reported quarter, Talisman Energy posted a loss of 12 cents per share against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings of 5 cents.

Talisman Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Meanwhile, one can consider better-ranked energy sector stocks such as ARC Resources Ltd. (AETUF), Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG - Snapshot Report) and TransGlobe Energy Corporation (TGA - Snapshot Report). All these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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