What’s Up With Resolute Energy?

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The day Resolute Energy Corp. (NYSE: REN) reported second quarter results, the stock jumped 24% — before the announcement, which came after the market closed that day. Shares added another 17% the next day. And the company posted a net loss of $2.44 a share.

Since August 9, the shares have nearly doubled to close at $18.97 on Friday, and they were trading higher by nearly 4% on Monday, after posting a new 52-week high of $20.48.

The company’s market cap, even at Monday’s share price, is around $300 million, so it’s a pretty safe bet that investors are looking at what’s ahead for Resolute. Here’s what the CEO said when the company announced second-quarter results:

Sequential average daily production for the quarter increased 32 percent to 11,865 barrels of oil equivalent (“Boe”) per day, and we reduced our lease operating expense (“LOE”) to $14.46 per Boe, an eight percent reduction compared to the prior year period and a thirteen percent reduction sequentially. As noted in our release on July 8, 2016, our exit rate production for June was 15,400 Boe per day, an all time record for Resolute.

The company also closed the sale of some midstream assets on August 1 for net proceeds of about $36 million and used the funds to repay all outstanding debt on its revolving credit facility.

The best news of all is that the company’s acreage in the Delaware (Permian) Basin is flowing black gold from seven of nine planned wells, of which five are producing initial rates “significantly above” the company’s expectations. All nine wells are expected to be completed and producing by the end of September, and the company plans to drill five more wells this year.

The press release goes on with additional details, all of which are more than positive to say the least. The long and short of it, though, is that Resolute expects to hold its 27,800 gross acres by production, no mean feat in this low-price environment.

In addition to its Permian Basin assets of 7.6 million barrels of proved reserves, the company also holds a strong position in a tertiary recovery field in the Four Corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Proved reserves in the Aneth field total 25.5 million barrels, of which 99% are oil.

This all adds up to a company that has reduced its long-term debt from $714 million to $547 million over the past four quarters, is sitting on some high-quality acreage that it has been able to hold by production and is looking to boost 2016 production from a prior guidance range of 10,200 to 11,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day to a new range of 11,600 to 13,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a jump of about 15%. Can you see a buyout candidate here?

Just before the noon hour, Monday Resolute’s shares traded at $19.81, in a 52-week range of $1.25 to $20.48. The 12-month price target consensus is $10 per share.