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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Penn West Petroleum (PWE) stock is advancing by 46.21% to $1.35 on heavy trading volume on Monday morning, after the Canadian oil and gas company agreed to sell assets for about C$1.1 billion to lower its debt. The announcement was made after Friday's market close.

The Saskatchewan assets will be sold for C$975 million in cash to Teine Energy. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Penn West will also sell certain assets in Alberta for about C$140 million in a transaction that will also be completed in the second quarter.

"While we have made significant progress over the past three years in reducing our total debt, this asset sale results in a markedly improved capital structure and positions the company in the top tier of our peers in terms of all significant debt metrics," CFO David Dyck said in a statement.

So far this year, the company has sold about C$1.3 billion in assets, bringing its pro-forma net debt to about C$600 million from C$2.1 billion at the end of 2015.

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About 9.84 million shares of Penn West have been traded today, compared with its average daily volume of 1.63 million shares.

Separately, Penn West Petroleum has a "sell" rating and a letter grade of D- at TheStreet Ratings because of the company's disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing stock performance and generally high debt management risk.

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

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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