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Diamondback Prices Share Issue

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Midland, TX-based Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG - Free Report) has priced an upsized public offering of 6,000,000 common shares – being sold by certain stockholders – at $34.75 a piece, with an over-allotment option for an additional 869,222 shares. The offering, announced Jun 18, is expected to close on Jun 24.

The energy explorer will not get the net proceeds from this offering, which will go to the sellers – Wexford Capital LP and Gulfport Energy Corp. (GPOR - Free Report) – Diamondback's top two shareholders.

Diamondback, which went public in Oct last year, is an independent exploration and production company engaged in the acquisition, finding, and development of unconventional onshore oil and gas properties. The company’s operations are concentrated primarily in the Permian Basin of West Texas.

Having done a stellar job at raising production and reserves from its assets, analysts are predicting strong earnings growth for Diamondback over the next couple of years. The 2013 Zacks Consensus Estimate is $1.23, representing 105% earnings per share growth over 2012. Next year’s average forecast is $2.34, corresponding with 91% growth.    

However, shares of Diamondback – currently trading at $34.61 – have already doubled since its public debut at around $17 in Oct. Therefore, any upside from here may be limited.

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

Meanwhile, one can look at Oasis Petroleum Inc. (OAS - Free Report) and PetroQuest Energy Inc. as good buying opportunities. These domestic upstream energy operators – sporting a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) – have solid secular growth stories with potential to rise from current levels.

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