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Oasis Petroleum Inc. (OAS): SPO Advisory Buys More Shares as John Scully Shows Interest in E&P Industry

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As the energy sector is declining amid low oil and gas prices, some investors seem to be taking advantage of an opportunity to purchase oil stocks at lower prices, betting on the commodity to rebound. One of these investors is John H. Scully of SPO Advisory Corp, who in the last several months has been loading up on shares of Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS). In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SPO Advisory reported the acquisition of 7.9 million shares of Oasis Petroleum at $12.8 per unit, raising its stake to 20.37 million shares. In this way, the investor currently holds an activist stake in the company that amasses 15.8% of Oasis Petroleum’s outstanding stock. Additionally, the last 13F filing of SPO Advisory showed that the investor has been particularly bullish on two other energy stocks: Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) and Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC).

John Scully - SPO Advisory Corp

SPO Advisory Corp is a fund that owns a concentrated equity portfolio that contained positions in 13 companies at the end of 2014, with an aggregate value of $7.50 billion. However, the top five stakes in the equity portfolio amass over 75% of the total portfolio value and at the end of 2014 these positions were represented by Equinix Inc (NASDAQ:EQIX), Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYK), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), and Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE:SCHW). Therefore, even from these five companies we can see that Mr. Scully has a lot of exposure towards Financial, Services, Technology and Energy stocks.

Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS) was on the 11th spot in SPO Advisory Corp’s equity portfolio in terms of value. The fund initiated a stake in the company during the fourth quarter and held around 7.73 million shares at the end of 2014 and in January it reported raising its stake to 12.47 million shares. The latest purchase of 7.9 million shares has been made through a public offering of common stock in which Oasis Petroleum plans to sell 32 million shares. Meanwhile, since the end of September, the stock of Oasis Petroleum fell by 68%. In the last 52 weeks, Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS) lost around 69%, significantly underperforming the oil & gas exploration and production industry, which declined by 15%.

As has been mentioned earlier, despite Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS)’s stock losing ground in the last months, investors are buying shares, hoping that oil prices will go up, which will improve the company’s profitability. In this way, among 737 funds that we track, at the end of 2014, 31 investors held shares of Oasis Petroleum, up from 29 funds a quarter earlier. However, the aggregate value of the positions held by funds from our database declined to $520.78 million, from $581.05 million, which might have been partially offset by the drop in the price of the stock. Among investors that initiated stakes in Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS) during the fourth quarter are Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management and Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, which disclosed ownership of 4.82 million shares and 599,800 shares respectively. On the other hand, other funds such as Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and Cliff Asnes’ AQR Capital Management sold out their positions during the last three months of 2014.

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