EQT buys Rice Energy to create shale gas drilling giant

Rice Energy

Rice Energy's stock soars after deal to be bought by EQT in a $6.7 billion deal

Combined first-quarter output for EQT and Rice was about 3.1 billion cubic feet of gas per day, according to company statements, exceeding USA production by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp., according to company reports compiled by Bloomberg.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of RICE. The stock had lost 7.8% year-to-date through Friday.

Stephens Ar has invested 0.01% in Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE). That represents a premium of about 37.4% to Rice's Friday closing price of $19.69. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 7 suggest a Buy rating and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 52-week high for Rice Energy is $29.36.

On the ratings front, Rice Energy has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. On November 21 the stock rating was upgraded from "Hold" to "Buy" with a current price target of $33.00 by analysts at Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Savings Bank Ag stated it has 0% in Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE).

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EQT expects the deal to close in the final quarter of this year. Ibm Retirement Fund holds 11,403 shares or 0.01% of its portfolio. The 12-month consensus price target on the shares is $77.95.

"This fits entirely with what we were hoping would get done", said Barnes Hauptfuhrer, the founder of Charlotte-based Chapter IV Investors LLC, who wrote an open letter to EQT in January urging it to merge with either Antero Resources Corp. or Range Resources Corp. BTG Pactual Global Asset Management Ltd bought a new position in Rice Energy during the third quarter worth $3,948,000. The company now has a consensus rating of "Buy" and an average target price of $30.76. Citigroup maintained it with "Neutral" rating and $22 target in Monday, July 18 report. The stock has "Hold" rating by SunTrust on Monday, January 30. The rating was upgraded by Williams Capital Group to "Buy" on Tuesday, January 24. The company was maintained on Monday, March 7 by iBERIA Capital Partners. Stifel Nicolaus initiated it with "Buy" rating and $14.0 target in Thursday, December 10 report.

On September 27 the stock rating was downgraded to "Not Rated" from "Neutral" in a statement from Goldman Sachs. Barclays PLC reiterated a "buy" rating on shares of Rice Energy in a report on Wednesday, March 1st.

Rice Energy Inc (NYSE:RICE) and EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) announce that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which EQT will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Rice common stock for total consideration of approximately $6.7 billion - consisting of 0.37 shares of EQT common stock and $5.30 in cash per share of Rice common stock.

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