Forest Oil Dumps CEO; Shares Pop (FST, LPR)

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Independent oil & gas producer Forest Oil Corp. (NYSE: FST) replaced its CEO this morning with an interim chief executive from its own board of directors. The departing CEO, H. Craig Clark, had been CEO at Forest for nine years.

Forest has been hit particularly hard by the steep decline in natural gas prices, and the company has been slow to develop its liquids exploration and production. Forest has missed estimates for the last three quarters, and the company’s COO resigned earlier this month.

Forest spun-off Lone Pine Resources Inc. (NYSE: LPR) last September, and a shareholder lawsuit against the two companies was filed in May for making false statements in Lone Pine’s IPO prospectus.

Forest’s implied gain based on a consensus target price of $14.47 (just over half the 52-week high) and a current price of $6.79 is 113%. That reflects analysts’ expectations and the company’s poor performance more than it does the value of Forest’s shares. At least the board finally did something about it.

Shares of Forest are up more than 5% today at $6.79 in a 52-week range of $6.40-$28.22.

Paul Ausick