(By Balaseshan) CIBC World Markets Inc. analyst Adam Gill upgraded rating of Long Run Exploration Ltd. (TSE: LRE) to "Sector Outperformer" from "Sector Performer" and raised price target to $5.75 from $5.25.
Long Run announced the sale of its Saskatchewan Viking assets for $180 million (private buyer). Gill views the sale price as positive given the flowing metric is in line with recent Viking deals even though the Plato area, which made up the majority of the sold lands, was struggling in his view.
The analyst expects the credit facility will be reduced by about $25 million with the sale, leaving Long Run with $425 million line at the end of 2013. Overall, the debt position of the company is greatly improved and he believes that any funding gap overhang that has affected the stock will come off.
[Related -Why Investors Are Dead Wrong About Wal-Mart]
The company now has an above-average balance sheet, with 2013 discounted cash flow (DCF) of 1.5 times versus the group at 2.1 times. Gill also found the deal to be accretive to his valuation, with his core net asset value increasing to $4.03 from $3.64. With this change, he is increasing his price target.
Given the removal of the funding gap, better-than-average balance sheet, high-quality Montney and Viking (central Alberta) oil plays, the deep discount valuation and the fact management is taking steps to put the company on the right track, on Nov. 15 the analyst is upgrading his rating.
The brokerage lowered its 2012 cash flow per share estimate to $1.31 from $1.39 and its 2013 estimate to $1.80 from $2.15.
LRE is trading up 8.81% at $4.57 on Friday.