Healthy Independent E&P Company Witnesses Cluster of Insider Selling
The investment community may find the cluster of insider selling registered at Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) quite informative, considering that the cluster involved three different executives. To start with, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott D. Sheffield discarded 30,000 shares on Thursday at a weighted average price of $168.88, cutting his direct ownership to 621,868 shares. Moreover, Mark S. Berg, Executive Vice President of Corporate/Operations, sold 7,000 shares on the same day for $168.71 each, which trimmed his stake to 51,266 shares. Last but not least, Kenneth H. Sheffield Jr., Executive Vice President of STAT, WAT and Corporate Engineering, unloaded 2,500 shares on Thursday at $167.99 apiece, reducing his holding to 24,431 shares.
The shares of the independent oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) company have climbed by 28% since the beginning of 2016. The company, which is said to have the healthiest balance sheet among American E&P companies, has operations mainly in the Permian Basin, the Eagle Ford Shale play, the Raton field, and the West Panhandle field. Pioneer Natural Resources had $2.72 billion in long-term debt on March 31 and $1.61 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Moreover, the company also had $1.50 billion of unused borrowing capacity under its credit facility.
Pioneer is currently in the process of reducing its horizontal drilling activity to 12 rigs by mid-2016, from 24 rigs at the end of 2015. The company currently has 14 horizontal drilling rigs running, all of which are located in the Permian Basin. However, the company’s management is expecting to add 5-to-10 rigs as soon as crude oil prices recover to $50 per barrel. Russell Lucas’ Lucas Capital Management cut its stake in Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) by 25% during the March quarter, to 16,740 shares.