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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of PDC Energy (PDCE) were gaining 8.89% to $69.28 on heavy trading volume late Wednesday morning as the Denver-based oil and gas producer will pay about $1.5 billion for two privately-held companies managed by Kimmeridge Energy Management.

The transaction includes about 57,000 net acres in the Texas counties Reeves and Culberson and 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of net production.

It will be financed with $915 million of cash and roughly 9.4 million shares of common stock valued around $590 million. PDC Energy will fund the cash portion through potential equity and debt financings prior to closing. 

About 2.92 million shares of PDC Energy have been traded so far today, well above its average trading volume of roughly 976,218 shares per day. 

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TheStreet Recommends

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C-.

PDC Energy's strengths such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance are countered by weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PDCE

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author. 

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