Venoco Shares Surged: What You Need to Know


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of natural gas producer Venoco (NYS: VQ) exploded 30% higher today on news of a buyout bid.

So what: Chairman, CEO, and majority shareholder Timothy Marquez offered to buy the shares he doesn't already own for $12.50 per share in an offer announced today. Natural gas producers have been under pressure as prices have fallen and costs have risen in the industry. The resulting drop in share price has Marquez licking his chops.

Now what: This isn't the first time a CEO in the oil and gas industry has made a buyout offer. Quicksilver Resources (NYS: KWK) and Exco Resources (NYS: XCO) went through similar offers and both buyouts failed. Law firms have already announced a number of investigations and other potential bidders could emerge, clouding the future even further.

Shares of Venoco hit a 52-week high of $22.46 in February, so Marquez may just be trying to get the company on the cheap. He could also be looking to unlock some value that the market isn't realizing right now. I wouldn't be betting on a buyout, considering the success of the last two, but this could still be a boon for shareholders going forward if the board can find a more attractive alternative.

Interested in more info on Venoco? Add it to your watchlist.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.