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Energen (EGN) & Diamondback Merger Gets Shareholders' Nod

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Energen Corporation announced that its merger with Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG - Free Report) has been authorized by each of the firm’s shareholders.

Although the pending merger needs to meet some customary closing conditions, shareholders’ authorizations are likely to work in favor of the merger slated to close on Nov 29.   

On Aug 14, 2018, Diamondback had agreed to acquire Energen in a bid to bolster its Permian presence. The deal was valued at $8.4 billion in equity, under which Diamondback will exchange 0.6442 shares of its common stock for each share of Energen. The deal assumes Energen’s net debt estimated at $830 million, pushing the total value of the transaction to $9.2 billion.

Post completion of the deal, Diamondback will likely have 62% ownership stake in the combined entity and Energen will hold the rest.

Investors should know that Diamondback’s core operations are focused on the prolific Permian basin, wherein it holds more than 394,000 net acres, providing this upstream firm with an enviable acreage of low-risk top-tier assets. The company has been strategically working to boost presence in the shale play. With the latest Energen buyout deal, Diamondback is set to become the third-largest Permian explorer. Notably, the agreement will add around 96,000 acres of tier-1 Permian acreage to Diamondback’s portfolio, expanding its position by 57% to a total of 266,000 acres.

Currently, Energen — headquartered in Birmingham, AL — carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), while Midland, TX-headquartered Diamondback carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, investors could look at a couple of prospective oil and gas explorers and producers like Antero Resources Corporation (AR - Free Report) and Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG - Free Report) . Both the companies carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

We expect Antero Resources’ earnings to grow 230.3% through 2018.

Cabot will likely see earnings growth of 107.6% in 2018.

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