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Petrofac (POFCY) to Lower Debt With Greater Stella Area Sale

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Petrofac Limited (POFCY - Free Report) has agreed to divest Petrofac GSA Holdings Limited to Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited. The transaction, which is slated to close by the first quarter of 2019, has been valued at up to $292 million.   

The divestment is in line with Petrofac’s intention of lowering debt load.

Through Petrofac GSA Holdings, Petrofac Limited — oilfield services firm — has an ownership interest of 20% in the North Sea-based Greater Stella Area project and 24.8% in the FPF1 floating production facility. Per the deal, Petrofac is expected to receive $145 million once the deal is completed. An additional deferred non-contingentconsideration of $120 million will be paid through 2020 to 2023. The deal also includes a contingent payment of $28 million.

Petrofac expanded into oil production since the rally in crude prices earlier this decade. However, since the strategy didn’t work, the company is curtailing oil production and is gradually moving back to its less capital-intensive oilfield services business. In fact, the recent deal of divesting North Sea assets closely followed the company’s recent sale of Mexican oil fields.

Headquartered in the U.K., Petrofac is among the major oilfield service providers and is involved in designing and maintaining oil facilities. Over the past year, the stock has rallied 55.2% against the 2.6% collective decline of the stocks belonging to the industry.  

Meanwhile, a few better-ranked players in the energy space are McDermott International, Inc. (MDR - Free Report) , Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras (PBR - Free Report) and Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (HLX - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

McDermott’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, the average positive surprise being 101.7%.

Petrobras’ bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 10.4%.

Helix Energy’s bottom line exceeded the consensus mark in three of the last four quarters, the average earnings surprise being 66.7%.

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