Rice Energy Prime Prospect for M&A Buyout?

Rice EnergyOne of the lowest cost producers that gets some of the highest prices for its natural gas in the Marcellus/Utica is Rice Energy. The difference between what it costs Rice to produce gas ($0.90/thousand cubic feet, or Mcf) verses what they sell it for (an average $3.12/Mcf) means Rice makes a whopping 247% internal rate of return, or IRR–which is THE most profitable driller among 10 of the largest Marcellus/Utica drillers surveyed (see today’s companion post on Hedging Gas Prices in the Marcellus/Utica). The Rice boys’ stellar performance has not gone unnoticed by analysts at investment and research firms. In fact, one such analyst, from Wolfe Research, says Rice “could be” a target for takeover/buyout by a larger competitor. Which competitor? Let’s name names…

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