EQT to buy Rice Energy in $6.7B cash and stock deal

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On June 19, 2017, Rice Energy announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement, in which EQT will acquire Rice Energy. EQT's shares had fallen 7.3% in early trading. Barclays Capital Inc was Rice Energy's financial adviser and Vinson & Elkins LLP its legal adviser.

Analysts await Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE) to report earnings on August, 2.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. (NYSE:RICE) during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Rice Energy by 11.6% in the fourth quarter.

And while this does create what (for now at least) would be the biggest natural gas producer in the USA, it's too early to say that it will be the best or most profitable, and commodity prices will still play the biggest role in the company's results. They now have a $29.00 target price on the oil and gas producer's stock. Last fall Rice paid $2.7 billion to take over Vantage Energy Inc. subsidiaries that not only expanded its Appalachian holdings but gave it entry into the Barnett Shale in North Texas.

The offer translates to $27.05 per Rice Energy share, representing a premium of 37.4 percent to the stock's Friday closing price, according to Reuters calculations. The oil and gas producer reported $0.12 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks' consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.10. On average, analysts anticipate that Rice Energy Inc will post $0.58 EPS for the current year.

Rice Energy Inc. (Rice Energy), launched on October 1, 2013, is an independent natural gas and oil company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock.

RICE has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. The stock of Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE) has "Buy" rating given on Wednesday, March 30 by Seaport Global.

On November 7, 2016 Goldman Sachs started covering the stock setting a rating of "Neutral" and projecting a price target of $27.00. The rating was upgraded by Williams Capital Group to "Buy" on Tuesday, January 24. Drexel Hamilton initiated the shares of RICE in report on Thursday, February 18 with "Buy" rating.

EQT Corp. will become the largest US natural gas producer after agreeing to buy Rice Energy's holdings in the hydrocarbon-rich Marcellus shale formation for about $6.7 billion in cash and stock. But there are some factors that could help, including that the majority of the two companies' acreage is contiguous, which could drive drilling costs down and well production gains up with increased lateral well lengths.

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