Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners Trims Stake In QEP Resources (QEP)

Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners LLC, trimmed its stake in QEP Resources, Inc (NYSE:QEP) to 16.88 million shares from 16.99 million shares held earlier. The stake amasses 9.4% of the company’s stock.

Jana Partners entered into an agreement with QEP Resources, Inc., under the terms of which the company appointed  William L. Thacker, III to the board. Thacker will serve until the separation of QEP resources’ midstream business through a spin-off, or through a sale or other transaction. The Board is mandated to include Mr. Thacker in all significant matters related to the separation, which even includes the use of proceeds that would be realized from the separation.

Barry Rosenstein JANA PARTNERS

QEP Resources, Inc. (NYSE:QEP) is a diversified holding company and operates in three different business segments. It operates in the gas and oil exploration and production segment, in the midstream field services, and the energy marketing segment. The market cap of the independent natural gas and the crude oil exploration company was $5.71 billion

This month, the company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.02 per share, payable on March 7, 2014. The estimated proved reserves of the company totaled 4.1 trillion cubic feet at the end of 2013, up 3% from the year ago period.

Earlier this month, Societe Generale increased the target price of QEP Resources, Inc (NYSE:QEP) to $38.00 from $36.00, with a ‘Buy’ recommendation on the stock following the various strategic initiatives taken by the company. Contrastingly, early this year, Barclays sliced QEP’s stock target price to $36.00 from $39.00, with an ‘Overweight’ rating on the stock.

Other stakeholders of the company include David E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, which held 1.73 million shares, followed closely by Highline Capital Management, led by Jacob Doft, which held 1.729 million shares of the company’s common stock at the end of the fourth quarter last year.

Jana Partners is a “value-oriented, event driven investment firm” founded in 2001 by Barry Rosenstein. The fund is heavy weight on basic materials and services. The total portfolio value of the fund amounted to $7.91 billion in December 2013.

Early this year, Jana Partners reduced its stake in two other companies; Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS) and Outerwall Inc (NASDAQ:OUTR). The fund sold 106,980 shares in Oil States International, Inc (NYSE:OIS) and 55,954 shares of Outerwall Inc (NASDAQ:OUTR).

Some of the largest investments of the fund as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013 involves Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH), in which Jana owns 6.68 million shares, worth $648.85 million. The fund, also holds 3.01 million shares of Equinox Inc (NASDAQ:EQIX), with a reported value of $534.16 million.

Disclosure:none

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